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11111! GRAU 



MUSIC and the DRAMA 


Profusely Illustrated from 
Photographs and Prints 



Copyright, 1909, 


All Rights Reserved 



As St. Cecilia (1902). 
Copyright (1908), by Theodore Sutro. 

Hahb OHi&) Etta attfc 

(Emttwte bg 


Principally Vaudeville "Who Made Modern Vaudeville?" 
Noted Careers The White Rats and Vaudeville Syndicate. i 


Old-time Theatres and Old-time Managers Advent of Klaw & 
Erlanger and the Shuberts ................................ 54 


Era of the Manageress Mrs. John Drew Mrs. Conway 
Stories of John Stetson, Poole and Donnelly .............. 97 


The Business Side of Theatricals Past and Present Advent of 
Liebler & Co. Geo. Tyler The Record of a Great Produc- 
ing Firm Biographies ................................... 127 


Retrospective When Madison Square Garden was the Harlem 
Depot Horace Greeley and Charles Fechter The Elder 
Hackett Mario and Grisi Jacob Grau's French Ball in 
Honor of Present King of England How Maurice Grau 
Emulated His Uncle .................................... 158 


A Resume of Brilliant Careers Maurice Strakosch The How- 
sons The Brahams Memoirs of Favorites of Long Ago.. 189 


How Our Favorite Stars of To-day Began Their Careers A 
Hap-hazard Period ...................................... 216 


Anecdotal History of Interesting Careers Tetrazzini Blanche 
Arral Sembrich and Others ............................. 233 

iv (Emtfrttte fag 


An Appreciation of Oscar Hammerstein Careers of Musical 
Celebrities The Violincello's Lack of Potency Victor 
Herbert's Life Story The True History of Maurice Grau 
from Libretto-boy to Impresario History of English Opera 
in America When Stetson Asked for Forty Apostles 
Comic Opera Vicissitudes Poor "Billy" Deutsch, Who 
Actually ''Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo" 259 


Rubinstein's Visit in 1872 Barnum and His Disciple Founda- 
tion of the Circus Business in America The Mascagni 
Fiasco Ben Greet's Perseverance Fanny Janauschek 291 


Prodigies When the New York Herald was Supreme Its War 
with the Managers of the 6o's The Herald's Joke on the 
Public Biographical Sketches How Patti Came to Sing 
"The Last Farewell." 320 


Founder of the Shubert enterprises deceased. 

prrfatonj Note 

Neither from a literary nor a critical stand- 
point does the author of this volume seek the 
plaudits of his readers. 

The title of the work itself best defines its com- 
prehensive and definite scope and purpose. 

It was thought that the author, being the last 
of the Qraus (descendent from Emanuel Grau), 
a perpetuation of his recollections might not be 
wholly in vain. 

In the confines of a single volume it has been 
possible to include but a small part of the mass of 
data available, and the same statement applies to 
portraits. The author is anxious that such ap- 
parent incongruities as the absence of portraits of 
numerous distinguished subjects be explained by 
the limitations of space he had to contend with, 
and the amount of space devoted to any subject 
has been regulated generally by the amount of in- 
teresting data recalled. 

Many world-famous stars and managers are thus 
omitted, either because the author could recall 
nothing in their careers not generally known, or, 

as in the case of celebrities such as Henry Irving, 
Ellen Terry, Richard Mansfield and others, where 
careers have been made the theme of individual 
volumes by famous writers with whom this author 
could not hope to compete. 

The reader's attention is called to the footnotes, 
which add, at the last moment, changes and addi- 
tional data due to developments occurring while 
the volume was in the course of preparation. 

It remains but to add that the author has in his 
possession portraits and MS. sufficient for addi- 
tional volumes of the greatest interest, which will 
promptly appear in book form if the present work 
meets with the recognition which he humbly 


Mt. Vernon, N. Y. 
Easter, 1909. 

anil iltr irama 



Contralto (daughter of "Mark Twain"). 

Forty Years Observation of 
Music and the Drama 


I take it for granted that the person who does me the 
honor to read these pages will concede that I have ac- 
quired, by force of experience alone, a little wisdom in 
respect to the Vaudeville business of America. That 
business which has engaged my earnest and almost 
exclusive attention for a period of about sixteen years, 
has undergone such wonderful ramifications in that period 
that, frankly speaking, I can scarcely look back upon it 
now without the vague feeling of one who has lately 
passed through a disconnected dream. 

In my mind's eye, I see, two and three decades ago, the 
conventional oldtime "variety show." I look back in 
pleasant fancy to some of the cleverest bills of song and 
dance that have ever been put together. I hear again the 
voices of those olden favorites Delehanty, Hengler, 
Mackin, Wilson, and their fellows of that time ; and I am 
glad that I have been privileged to linger until I have 
passed the open door of the "Modern Vaudeville" Theatre 
of to-day. 

Whence comes this "Modern Vaudeville"? By what 
magical process of modernizing, or refining, if you will, 
has it grown to be such a wonderfully important factor 
in the scheme of American theatricals? 

JFortp gears 2D60ertration 

Let me go beyond these questions, and ask another, 
perhaps more directly to the point: 

"Who made 'Modern Vaudeville?'" 

In the early spring of 1894, it was my good fortune to 
spend an afternoon with the late Tony Pastor in his cosy 
and never-to-be-forgotten little bird-cage of a theatre in 
I4th Street. Together, we "watched the show," and, as 
the acts came and went in regular order, I could not fail 
to notice a peculiar difference from the old variety house ; 
something was lacking. There were the familiar faces 
on the stage, to be sure : Filson and Errol, Edwards and 
Kernell, Maggie Cline, Leroy and Clayton, John Kernell, 
Barry and Bannon, Major Burke and others of that dear 
old Grand Army of the Regulars that had so long and so 
faithfully entertained the public. But the show "hung 
fire;" the house was not crowded, nor was it little more 
than apathetic. 

"What's the matter with it all?" I asked of the Dean 
of the old-time "variety show." 

And his carefully measured answer I have never for- 
gotten it, and I never will enlightened me. 

"Bob, the old-time variety show is dead. It is 'Refined 
Vaudeville' now! A chap up the street, in the Union 
Square Theatre is putting us to sleep. It's Fynes, of the 
Clipper. He's running that house for Keith, the Boston 
'continuous man,' and he's going to raise Cain with the 
variety business in America unless something stops him. 
Mark my words!" 

The years have passed since that prediction was made ; 
though I little thought how much import it might, later, 
bear to me personally, I soon came to realize that Tony 
Pastor spoke with the absolute force of prophecy. 

It is not my purpose in this volume to precipitate per- 
sonal discussions, nor shall I enter into an elaborate 
statistical history of what I shall call the New Era of 

of Cit0ic ana tfte Drama 

Vaudeville. I intend to set down plainly and honestly 
only that which fell under my own observation; in so 
doing I feel that my pen would belie me if I did not 
award credit where credit is due. 

I have no axe to grind; I bear no brief for any stage 
client, or for any managerial friend, patron or acquaint- 
ance. The many years that I have spent in the vaudeville 
service have been rewarded, as, I presume, my labors 
deserved. I am still free in speech, and, do not hesitate 
to state that, in my judgment, the man who made the 
Vaudeville of to-day is J. Austin Fynes. 

I met Fynes in 1884 a quarter of a century ago! 
There was no silver round his temples then, and there 
was none beneath my hat, either. But temp us fugit; 
what difference does a gray hair, or two, make in a vaude- 
ville lifetime? 

Fynes was then the dramatic editor of The New York 
Clipper. It was, and is, a solid, conservative organ of 
the general theatrical profession, with a leaning toward 
the variety and circus branches. That was in 1884, as I 
have said, and Fynes had come to The Clipper, from the 
night editor's desk of The Boston Herald. In 1886 he had 
advanced to the position of managing editor of The Clip- 
per, and to the duties attached to that responsible post 
he added, in 1887, the further duties of dramatic editor of 
The Evening Sun. He was the first of The Evening Sun's 
dramatic critics, by the way. In twenty-two years that 
brisk newspaper has had only three dramatic critics 
Fynes, Charles Dillingham and the present incumbent, 
the effervescent and popular Acton Davies. 

I mention these details to emphasize my conclusion 
that when Fynes fell into Vaudeville, through the grace 
of B. F. Keith he was amply qualified, by literary 
training at least, to do just what dear old Tony Pastor 
remarked : "Raise Cain with the business." 

JFottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

In the spring of 1893, I read in The Evening Sun that 
B. F. Keith had acquired the lease of the Union Square 
Theatre, then under the management of Greenwall & 
Pearson, and running as a combination house. The bonus 
was something like $26,000, and the lease had four or five 
years to run, with the privilege of renewal. A fortnight 
later, I read in The Clipper that Mr. Fynes had resigned 
as editor, and had accepted the position of manager of 
the Union Square. The house was closed that summer, 
and during that period it fell to my lot to almost daily 
observe Edward F. Albee in his favorite occupation of 
rebuilding, redecorating, renewing and reviving an old 
theatre. In the mechanics of the theatre, Albee is un- 

When the house was thrown open in September, 1893, 
it was the prettiest, cosiest, daintiest vaudeville theatre 
in New York. The boy ushers, in their Turkish cos- 
tumes; the brilliantly lighted stained-glass exterior; the 
courteous attaches, in their military uniforms ; the sweet- 
faced matrons, in lace caps and smart aprons ; and a dozen 
other novelties caught the fancy of the public. Beyond a 
doubt, the house, was a hit. 

But the show was not! It was, in spite of all the 
promises, conventional, perhaps worse than conventional. 
It consisted of an opera "company" of about eight 
mediocre principals and twelve chorus people. The 
"'orchestra" was a lone pianist, David Fitzgibbons. The 
opera was presented three times daily, and ran about an 
hour. Milton Aborn was chief comedian and stage man- 
ager. Between times a variety show was presented, and 
it was a show of the old school, Daly and Devere, Leonard 
and Moran, Billy Courtright, Gilbert Sarony, Bryant and 
Richmond, and Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Cohan being "among 
those present." 

During the sixth or seventh week of the new venture 

of fi@u0ic anD tfie Drama 

the writer met Fynes. To my prediction that the new 
scheme would not succeed in that provincial form, he 
answered quickly: "You're quite right. But there'll be 
a change soon. The opera is not right for New York. It 
gets by in Boston and Philadelphia. It's outclassed here, 
where we have a Casino to show us the real thing. As 
soon as I am rid of it, there will be something doing." 

The "something" developed quickly. The opera com- 
pany was hustled back to Philadelphia, and early in 1894, 
with the inauguration of an all-vaudeville bill at the 
Union Square, the history of American Vaudeville began 
to re-write itself, J. Austin Fynes guiding the pen. 

It is certain that Fynes must have been given carte 
blanche by Keith in the policy of the Union Square, after 
the opera troupe left. To my personal knowledge Fynes 
seldom, if ever, asked advice from "headquarters." It 
was, perhaps, due to that fact that there soon came into 
vaudeville the great element that uplifted it, dignified it, 
and strengthened it the advent of the Legitimate Act. 

It is impossible now to overestimate the importance of 
that move made by Fynes with an assurance and coolness 
that baffled many an old-time "variety" manager. My 
own part in the revolution, for it may well be called such, 
was active enough to justify me in making careful records 
of the happenings of that day. 

The new era began quietly enough, to be sure. Mrs. 
Alice Shaw was then at the height of her fame as a 
fashionable lyceum entertainer. She was quickly engaged 
by Fynes, and she was an instant success. Then followed, 
in quick succession, a series of engagements that com- 
pletely metamorphosed the old variety show. 

"What's Fynes trying to do over there, Grau?" said the 
late Lew Behman to me one day. "Is he running a legiti- 
mate theatre, or a variety show?" 

I repeated the question to Fynes, and he laughed. "He's 

6 Jfottp gears 2D&$ertmtton 

a fine old-time variety manager, is Lew Behman," he 
said, "but he mustn't go to sleep. There's 'something 
doing.' " 

Always "something doing," you will perceive ! And so 

they came along into Fynes' ready and willing hands 

one by one, steadily, week after week, with no let up, 

stars like Maurice Barrymore, Clara Morris, Robert 

Hilliard, Charles Dickson, Sidney Drew, Camilla Urso, 

Remenyi (the great violinist), Lillian Burkhart, Charles 

A. Stevenson, Anna Boyd, Ida Mulle, David Warfield, 

Louis Mann, Edwin Stevens, Henry E. Dixey, Vernona 

Jarbeau, Grace Huntington, Emily Lytton, Patrice, Tim 

Murphy, Grace Filkins, Frederick Bryton, Agnes Proctor, 

Eben Plympton, Robert Downing, Aubrey Boucicault, 

Arnold Daly, Edward Abeles, Maude Banks, Digby Bell, 

Valerie Bergere, Laura Biggar, Sig. Tagliapietra, Wm. 

T. Carleton, Edwin Royle, Selina Fetter, Reub Fax, 

Amelia Glover, Maude Granger, Rose Eytinge, John 

Mason, Marion Manola, Amy Lee, Pilar-Morin, Madge 

Lessing, Milton Nobles, Lucille Saunders, Isabelle 

Urquhart, Clara Thropp, Walter Gale, Odette Tyler, 

Annie Ward Tiffany, and but why prolong the list, with 

space so limited? 

All these people, and more, too, made their debut in 
vaudeville under the persuasion of J. Austin Fynes, aided 
and abetted by innumerable agents. The modern vaude- 
ville agent, indeed, was practically created by Fynes in 
his quest for new material. He played no favorites 
among agents. He was a free lance, who believed in 
keeping competition alive ; and he proved, what is more, 
that salaries need not increase to the extent that has since 
become notorious. Fynes figured closely, and, once he 
had contracted, he held firmly to the original salary. As 
proof of this I can declare that in the entire list of celeb- 
rities given above, the highest salary was that paid to the 

of 9@ii0ic anD tfje Drama 

late Maurice Barrymore, who received $650 a week for 
himself and his "company" of two people in "A Man of 
the World." Dixey was paid $600, Milliard $600, Clara 
Morris $600, Aubrey Boucicault, Sidney Drew, Charles 
Dickson, $350 each; David Warfield, $100, and Louis 
Mann for $75 ! 

With a foresight that was little short of remarkable, 
experimenting carefully, each time going a degree higher 
in the artistic scale, Mr. Fynes brought the Union Square 
Theatre to its own, and made it the model vaudeville 
theatre of America in that day. Its programmes were 
copied in every large city of the Union; a booking at 
Keith's was the open-sesame everywhere, and lucky was 
the agent who "landed" a headliner there, for the rest was 

More than this, the press of the country which had 
hitherto absolutely ignored the variety theatres, began to 
take notice of the advent of these famous players in 
vaudeville. Fynes did his own press work, of course, and 
he did it well. It was impossible to slight debuts such 
as the above. Famous playwrights were represented in 
those splendid programmes, you must remember. 

Dropping into the cosy little business office of the 
Union Square one evening, I heard the familiar voice of 
Augustus Thomas reading a one-act sketch to Fynes. 
Anybody who has ever been under the eloquent spell of 
Mr. Thomas' mellifluous voice will agree that it is hard to 
resist him. Mr. Fynes could not, anyway. When Thomas 
departed, he had actually booked the sketch, without any 
people! Fortunately, the agent was at hand, and the 
actors were soon secured. Bronson Howard's charming 
playlet, "Old Love Letters," a classic in its way, was first 
done in vaudeville in this theatre; and it is no small 
compliment to Mr. Fynes to record that he was able to so 
judiciously condense it from its original running time of 

8 jfottg gears 2D&0erfcation 

one hour to thirty-five minutes, and that the distinguished 
author himself never noticed the cuts, although he was a 
great stickler against any "editing" of his pieces. 

Terrace Garden on East 58th Street near $d Avenue 
was, forty years ago, one of the great show places of the 
city. Here was given the Peace Jubilee conducted by 
Julien who, before the era of Patrick S. Gilmore, took 
New York by storm with his military band. Terrace 
Garden had its Grand Opera, principally in German, and 
the Sunday night appearances of famous guest singers 
and players could always be counted upon to fill the vast 
auditorium to the very doors. 

It has been observed that there are more theatre and 
opera goers in the igth ward than any other district in 
the city containing twice the population, and Mr. F. F. 
Proctor, with the shrewdness which has characterized his 
entire active career, purchased, fifteen years ago, the site 
occupied by a large brewery directly opposite Terrace 
Garden and built there what was first known as Proctor's 
Pleasure Palace, the most comprehensive and wholly 
original place of amusement that up to that time New 
York had seen. Besides the auditorium proper on the 
ground floor, the basement contained a well appointed 
music hall with chairs, tables and a dainty stage and here, 
during intermissions and after the regular performance, 
would be heard Cafe Chantant warblers, Tyroleans and 
instrumental soloists while the auditors would partake of 
refreshments, and even a table d'hote dinner was served. 
On the roof was one of the first of the Garden Theatres 
which, at that time, had not yet reached the Long Acre 
Square district. Directly adjoining the main theatre, Mr. 
Proctor had constructed a large and commodious Palm 
Garden, which is to-day used for balls and private enter- 

On the dedication night of this great enterprise, the 

of 9@u0ic anD tfte Drama 

prices for seats were at the highest rate charged in local 
theatres, and every seat and box was sold far in advance ; 
one of the most representative gatherings that the 
Metropolis was capable of turning out, gave welcome to 
the Proctor efforts; and what a performance! Such a 
programme, it would not be possible to duplicate even 
in these days of advanced vaudeville and Percy Williams 
era of management. The headliner and the sensation of 
the night was George Lockhardt's English troupe of 
comedy elephants who were retained for months after- 

Then came Weber and Fields, at that period on the top 
wave of popularity. Sam Bernard was second on the bill 
which included James F. Hoey, Lottie Gilson, Rice and 
Cohen, Lew Dockstader, William T. Carleton, the oper- 
atic baritone who made his debut that night in vaudeville, 
and Billee Barlow, the English Music Hall favorite ; it is 
not possible to recall all of the big salaried stars who 
graced that programme. The ultimate result of the enter- 
prise was not for the constructive side of Mr. Proctor's 
bank account ; the policy of the house was often changed 
until it became one of the chain of Keith and Proctor cir- 
cuit of vaudeville theatres. 

It is customary to speak of the variety theatre of long 
ago as something wholly unworthy, and the statement is 
often made that to Mr. Benjamin F. Keith is due the 
credit of having made possible the attendance of ladies at 
this class of entertainment. This is hardly the truth nor 
does it do justice to the managers of variety theatres of 
the 70*3 or even of the 6o's. Of course up to the advent 
of Mr. Keith and the continuous performance era, there 
were not over a half dozen first class variety theatres in 
this country, but these were conducted in a manner which 
will compare quite favorably with those of the present 
day. As for the attendance of the gentler sex, long before 

10 JFortp gears fl)6$ertmtion 

Tony Pastor catered to them, they were to be seen at the 
old Union Square Theatre, Leonard Grover's Theatre (in 
Tammany Hall), at Bob Butler's Globe Theatre, on lower 
Broadway and last but not least at Harrigan and Hart's 
Theatre Comique. 

The advent of Mr. Keith and, afterwards, of Mr. Proc- 
tor certainly did revolutionize the variety stage ; this was 
due, to a very great extent, to the invasion of the legiti- 
mate players and singers, rather than to any great change 
in the entertainment itself. 

It was Mr. Proctor who first tempted a great celebrity 
into what is now called "Vaudeville." He it was who 
astonished the New York public by announcing that 
every morning at eleven o'clock, Signor Italo Campanini, 
the great Italian grand opera tenor would sing at the 23d 
Street house. Campanini, however, did not sing more 
than once daily, but the incentive was established for 
other notable stars and soon Mr. Keith, who was ad- 
vised by Mr. J. Austin Fynes, began to throw out bait in 
the shape of increased compensation to those stars of the 
legitimate stage, who were willing to risk the loss of 
caste in their own field in order to procure imposing 
salaries in the newer line. 

For several years $1,000 was the highest price 
which any artist was able to command outside such 
halls as Koster and Bial's and the Olympia where 
celebrities like Yvette Guilbert, Chevalier and Loie Fuller 
received as high as $1,750 a week. The competition be- 
came fierce, the theatres multiplied and soon there en- 
tered upon the scene such intrepid personages as Percy 
Williams who pays first and counts afterward; then the 
limit was raised until to-day $3,000 a week is by no means 
uncommon. This figure was paid to Lillian Russell, Mrs. 
Langtry and Harry Lauder. May Irwin had $2,500, 
Vesta Victoria the same, and Alice Lloyd who came out 

of it0ic ano t&e Drama n 

here at a very small salary scored such a furore that 
ere her first season ended she reached the $1,500 a week 

Up to this time no one has been paid in excess of $3,000 
a week but Edouard de Reszke has been offered $3,500 a 
week to sing one song, once daily at Mr. Williams' 
theatres. Sousa's band, for a turn of fifteen minutes, was 
offered $5,000 a week. Both of the above offers have 
been declined, but no week goes by that the newspapers 
do not surprise their readers by declaring that some new 
and unexpected attraction has been captured by one of 
the various magnates of vaudeville. 

In the year 1900 the great growth of this class of 
theatricals led to the amalgamation of variety houses ; the 
syndicate that effected this movement was desirous of 
achieving some of the discipline that was an accom- 
plished fact in the legitimate theatres controlled by 
Klaw and Erlanger. It is to be regretted that the aim, 
at this time, was to obtain for the managers themselves 
the five per cent commission that had heretofore gone to 
the agents. The booking agents had been earning vast 
incomes, some as high as $25,000 a year, and the power of 
these agents to control the exclusive services of so many 
attractions was not relished by Edward F. Albee, Mr. 
Keith's general manager, a man of tremendous business 
ability and great strength of mental decision. At the 
meeting of the managers, in Boston, it was disclosed that 
in The Western Vaudeville Theatres a plan by which the 
managers combined to book their own acts in their own 
agency had worked out well and the same plan was 
adopted as a basis for the amalgamation of all the vaude- 
ville managers of the country. The announcement of this 
move, when made in the press, was received with con- 
sternation by the thousands of vaudeville stars and the 
coterie of agents. At the very outset much fear was ex- 

12 JFottp gears fl)60erfcatton 

pressed that this procedure was merely an effort to re- 
duce the actor to submission on the salary question, and 
to do away with the agent altogether. At any rate, when 
The Association of Vaudeville Managers established of- 
fices in the St. James Building it did not seem that the re- 
sults desired were to be easily obtained. Offers of re- 
duced salaries began to reach the more prominent artists 
and were explained by the managerial side as being only 
natural, in view of the lengthy and consecutive tours that 
would be given by reason of the amalgamation. 

It was soon discovered that the agent was a necessity 
to the managers and to this day, it has not been possible 
to obliterate him. One of them, William Morris, a self- 
made man, who had worked his way up from an office 
boy, had always remained aloof from this managerial 
combine, and, by reason of his extraordinary energy, 
popularity and integrity, has been able at all times to 
prove himself a menace to the consummation of the 
Association's pet policy. It was Morris who brought 
Klaw and Erlanger into vaudeville and through Morris 
they were able to demonstrate so strong an opposition 
that they were paid an enormous bonus and all their 
contracts assured, which caused over two million dollars 
to change hands. Altogether Klaw and Erlanger and 
their associates received a bonus of $250,000. The fact 
that they were relieved of $1,750,000 of obligation will 
give some idea, not only of the burden which the Asso- 
ciation had to assume, but also of the gigantic plunge 
which Klaw and Erlanger entered into and how far they 
went in the game before they caused their opponents to 
cry "Enough." It may be said, however, that the final 
result in this, the greatest vaudeville war in history, was 
hastened by the ingenious manner in which the vaude- 
ville season at the Chicago Auditorium was manipulated 

of 9@u0tc anB tfie Dtama 13 

by Klaw and Erlanger, and the application of the "steam 
roller" by their able lieutenant, George W. Lederer. 

It has been stated before that the deduction of five per 
cent, by the managers, was bitterly resented by the 
actors, and this led to the formation of a secret society 
of vaudeville artists which was called "The White Rats 
of America," after the famed "Water Rats" of London. 
The founder was George Fuller Golden, a self-sacrificing, 
big-souled man, who was greatly beloved by his confreres. 
Starting with eight of the best known comedians of the 
vaudeville stage the society grew, until it had over one 
thousand members; although its purpose was said to be 
for social improvement, it is not to be disguised that 
"Protection" was its real motive. 

One morning, at the office of the Managers' Asso- 
ciation, a delegation from "The White Rats" called to 
have a conference with the Managers which, to be brief, 
was not as peaceable nor as satisfactory as had been 
hoped for. The next day to the utter amazement of the 
public, the Managers and even of the Artists, every 
vaudeville theatre in Manhattan, and nearly every theatre 
devoted to vaudeville in the whole country was in Chaos. 
Every "Rat," at the sound of a simultaneous signal, 
"walked out." The effect on the Managers was nothing 
short of a Tragedy, and in order to keep the theatres open 
at all, those managers who were not compelled to close, 
were put to the most severe tests. It would take a volume 
to describe the many scenes and disturbances of these 
troublous days. For three days and nights the writer did 
not see a bed, and for hours and hours, in a telephone 
booth, without a second of rest, an effort was made to 
keep the Managers supplied with some kind of attractions 
to replace those "called out." This state of affairs pre- 
vailed for many days, but that the Managers triumphed 

14 Jfottg gears 2D&$ertmtion 

in the end, is due greatly, to the loyalty of a few men who 
had great influence, at that period. Would that it could 
be said that this loyalty was appreciated. 

An illustration of what Vaudeville is to-day can be had 
when it is stated that at Mr. Williams' three best 
theatres, receipts of $15,000 a week are not uncommon; 
even in ordinary cities like Detroit, the one Vaudeville 
Theatre earns a profit in excess of $150,000 a year. In 
Buffalo, M. Shea who thirty years ago had a small music 
hall where the artists mingled with the audience, to-day 
has two of the handsomest theatres in this country, and 
his earnings are reported to be more than $200,000 yearly. 

In New Haven, Conn., fifteen years ago, an Italian 
sculptor, named Sylvester Poli, started a small Eden 
Musee with four or five wax figures; from time to time 
he added an act of vaudeville, forcing the actors to play 
six to ten times a day. This man Poli, to-day, has ten 
theatres of palatial size and beauty ; he owns every one of 
them and his fortune is estimated to be far in excess of 
one million dollars. In San Francisco, where there has 
been an Orpheum Theatre for thirty years, one of its 
original projectors, Morris Myerfeld, has evolved a cir- 
cuit of eighteen theatres, all owned by himself and one 
or two associates, an enterprise to-day controlled by 
Martin Beck and which represents a cash value of ten 
million dollars. The trend of vaudeville is still upward, 
and certainly no reaction is indicated. 

In Springfield, Mass., if you chance to enter the Gil- 
more Theatre, you might pass Patrick F. Shea a dozen 
times without being in any way attracted, for his bearing 
is modest in the extreme. This self-made manager of 
several theatres and parks in New England, at one time 
held in his hand the "key" to the vaudeville situation, and, 
by sheer industry and brainy manipulation, succeeded in 

of iu0ic ana tfie Drama 

making such prominent vaudeville magnates as Edward 
F. Albee, and B. F. Keith sit up and take notice. 

This unassuming man, Shea of Springfield, held the 
cards and played them for a time so well, that for a period 
in 1904 it looked as though the entire organization of 
vaudeville managers would be disorganized, but Shea, 
suddenly, left the St. James Building and has never re- 
turned. It has never become publicly known just what 
he received in the final disposition of this incipient vaude- 
ville war, but it is not thought that he succumbed without 
abundant compensation. 

A unique personality in the theatrical world from the 
year 1880 until the time of his death a few years ago was 
Charles L. Davis, more generally known as "Alvin 
Joslin." His principal title to fame came from the fact 
that because of his remarkable business ability and 
suberb showmanship he was able to make a large fortune 
with perhaps the poorest vehicle in the way of a play that 
was ever inflicted on an audience. Davis advertised in 
the most extraordinary fashion ; he would stand on street 
corners and attract vast crowds, holding forth as to the 
merits of his play and its performnace. At such times he 
would be literally covered with diamonds. His ostenta- 
tion in this respect being wholly inconceivable to one not 
accustomed to gaze upon the spectacle. 

In 1894 or '95, Davis purchased ground in Pittsburg, 
Pa., and erected there the handsomest theatre which that 
city up to that time had possessed. He named it "The 
Alvin." The theatre is still standing, and is now con- 
ducted under a "Pooling deal" effected between B. F. 
Keith and Harry Davis during one of the games of chess 
perpetrated by the former and won by neither. Harry 
Davis* battle to maintain his rights and extensive hold- 
ings in the city of Pittsburg is a tale worth unfolding 

16 Jfortp gears i)&0ertmttott 

but there is not space here to state more than that after 
a struggle, persistent and herculean, and a patience rarely 
equalled he (Davis) was restored to his normal state and 
he now is more impregnably intrenched than before the 
effort to oust him. 

There has at various periods been considerable discus- 
sion as to who it was, that first produced a one act play 
in the vaudeville theatres. Elsewhere in these records the 
credit is given to Charles Dickson, who produced his 
own playlet, "The Salt Cellar" at Mr. Keith's Union 
Square Theatre in the first season of its regime as a 
"continuous" house. This statement should be qualified ; 
that while Dickson was the first prominent actor to 
foresake the legitimate stage for vaudeville, and surely he 
was the one to create the incentive for the stampede of 
players which afterwards followed, nevertheless, the first 
presentation of a one act playlet took place long before 
the reign of the Keith era. 

Farces and afterpieces were always a factor in the 
oldest days of "Variety," but it was Francesca Redding 
and Hugh Stanton who first conceived and executed the 
idea of presenting a playlet in the form which afterward 
became so popular. They were seen in every variety 
theatre in this country in "A Happy Pair," which vehicle 
served them for many years. 

Both have remained potent attractions, too, Miss Red- 
ding being featured with her own company at this time 
in William Morris* circuit of theatres while Stanton has 
provided a perfect plethora of good material in the matter 
of one act plays. Stanton died October 18, 1907. 

It should be stated that Francesca Redding's debut took 
place in Johann Strauss' Comic Opera "The Queen's Lace 
Handkerchief," in which she appeared as the King, dis- 
closing the fact that she possessed an excellent contralto 




MLLE. DAZIE. (Deceased.} 

A sextette of Vaudeville favorites. 

of 9@u0ic attD tfte Drama IT 

The firm of Hyde and Behman has been regarded as 
one of the wealthiest concerns in this country operating 
in theatrical property. 

Richard Hyde was born May 22d, 1847, and is active 
to-day, at the age of 62. Louis C. Behman was born 
June 4th, 1855, and died in Brooklyn, February, 27th, 

Their first venture was the opening of Volks Garden 
on the site of the present "Hyde & Behman's" on Satur- 
day night, May 19, 1877. Two years later the name was 
changed to Hyde and Behman's and here all the famous 
headliners of old time vaudeville appeared. 

The house was destroyed by fire June gth, 1891, but 
was immediately rebuilt and re-opened in November of 
the same year and continued as a vaudeville house until 
the fall of 1906, when its name was changed to "Olympic" 
and is now maintained as a burlesque house. 

The Hyde & Behman Amusement Company was in- 
corporated May 19, 1899. The holdings of this company, 
(some of which have since passed out of existence) are 
and have been as follows : 

Hyde & Behman's (now "Olympic"), Brooklyn. 

Standard Theatre (site now occupied by Abraham & 
Straus), Brooklyn. 

Grand Opera House, Brooklyn. 

Park Theatre (Destroyed by fire), Brooklyn. 

Amphion (Now Blaney's), Brooklyn. 

Empire (Portion of this building cut off by approach of 
Williamsburg Bridge. Now used as a garage), Brooklyn. 

Park Theatre (Herald Square Theatre, destroyed by fire 
in December, 1908), New York City.* 

Star Theatre, Brooklyn. 

Gayety, Brooklyn. 

*The Herald Square Theatre reopened March i, 1909. 

is jfortp gears 2D60ettiation 

Folly Theatre, Brooklyn. 

Bijou Theatre, Brooklyn. 

Newark Theatre, Newark, N. J. 

Gayety Theatre, Pittsburg, Pa. 

Star & Garter Theatre, Chicago, 111. 

A chain of vaudeville theatres in the far West, that is 
gradually becoming more important and continually 
growing in size as well as in the magnitude of its bills, is 
the circuit operated under the name of Sullivan and 
Considine. The Sullivan in question being "Big Tim" 
while John Considine is from Seattle, Wash. 

Beginning in the year 1890, in a small way, by starting 
up a few halls in cities like Seattle, Butte, Helena, etc., 
the enterprise has broadened until, to-day, no less than 
thirty well-appointed theatres, the majority owned by 
the firm, are conducted in a manner worthy of such 
recognition as can here be given. 

It is not the intention of the writer to pose as a prophet 
but it would by no means be surprising if this chain of 
theatres would some day, not so far off at that, prove the 
bone of contention in a mighty vaudeville combat. 

It should be stated, in passing, that much of the success 
which has come to the firm of Sullivan and Considine 
is due to the untiring energy and the excellent general- 
ship with which Chris. Brown, their New York repre- 
sentative, has conducted the booking department of their 
enterprises. Mr. Brown was first located in Chicago, a 
point which has always been regarded as the most neces- 
sary locale to install a good general. For many years 
Martin Beck directed the affairs of the great Orpheum 
Circuit from the Windy City. 

Like many other of our most successful managers, the 
entry into theatricals of Sidney Wilmer and Walter Vin- 
cent was made through the stage door. Both were actors 
in their younger days. 

of 90u0tc anD t&e Drama 19 

Sidney Wilmer is a native of Florida. His father was 
an Evangelist and his mother a member of the famous 
Southern family of Wilmers. His first work upon leav- 
ing school was newspaper reporting in New York. Next 
we find him playing small parts in a travelling repertoire 
company. Then came an engagement with Nat Good- 
win in the latter's original production of the "Gilded 

Walter Vincent, born at Lake Geneva, Wis., nursed 
in New England, and schooled in Wheaton College, la., 
also started as a newspaper man the scene of his early 
reportorial experiences being Denver, Colo. After sev- 
eral seasons spent in the support of various stars, play- 
ing character parts, young Vincent met Wilmer in Kate 
Claxton's company. The two soon joined hands in the 
writing of plays and sketches, and the season following 
the meeting they entered vaudeville playing their own 
one-act skits. They were the first to present a recognized 
dramatic actress in the vaudeville houses, and Isabella 
Urquhart was their star. 

Several seasons were spent in vaudeville by the pair, 
then, in the fall of 1898, they entered the managerial 
ranks by opening a pretty little play-house in Utica, 
N. Y. It was their first "Orpheum," and within a year 
had become well established. From that time on the 
growth of the firm has been steady and substantial. 

In Lancaster, Pa., there is a manager presiding over 
a beautiful vaudeville theatre. It is one of a chain of 
some twenty others which he books, and is a monument 
to his industry. Edward Mozart is the man to whom I 
refer. He was, thirty years ago, a magician or necro- 
mancer, and he had the customary career of one pursuing 
such a vocation in the distant past. His right to a place 
in these pages, however, comes from what he has been 
enabled to accomplish in the evening of his life. Six 

20 jfortp gears 2Pb0ertmtion 

years ago this man came to Lancaster and opened a small 
vaudeville theatre, and, by reason of a well defined policy 
and a stability of purpose, his business grew until he was 
able not only to build a beautiful playhouse in that city, 
but he has, to-day, a circuit as large as that of any of the 
important interests. If the cities are not as important as 
those in which Mr. Keith's theatres are located, these 
cities, nevertheless, grow, and the programmes presented 
by Mr. Mozart now, are as good as those Mr. Keith pre- 
sented but a few years ago. Hence the recording of Mr. 
Mozart's achievement will not seem so inopportune. 
Like a very few others, it is worth noting that nearly all 
of Mr. Mozart's large fortune came to him after he had 
passed the half-century mark in life, and that is some- 
thing worth the telling as often as possible; it should 
surely be an incentive to others not to lose their courage, 
for in no other business is a man given such chances, and 
such aid to recuperate as is granted to him who struggles 
in the amusement world. 

When the Shubert boys came down to the Metropolis 
from Syracuse to inaugurate their campaign, they were 
accompanied by a young and, at that time, wholly un- 
known individual, Mark A. Luescher by name, and it 
is no reflection upon the principals of this remarkable 
firm, to credit Luescher with much of their early success ; 
what he accomplished as their press representative and 
business manager came under the writer's observation 
and could not fail to have been noticed by others. 
Luescher, though still a young man, has passed through 
a wide range of experience and vicissitudes. 

After leaving the Shuberts, he held most important 
posts with Klaw and Erlanger, and F. F. Proctor, and, 
for a period, managed, in conjunction with Louis Werba, 
the New York Roof Garden; it was during this tenancy 
that this heretofore precarious enterprise was first made 



of 9@tt0ic and tfie Drama 21 

financially profitable, due greatly to Luescher's ingenious 
methods in the exploiting of a talented dansuese, pre- 
viously known as "La Belle Dazie" whom he advertised 
as "La Domino Rouge." 

For several years under this title, this handsome 
terpsichorean artiste held sway and commanded a huge 
salary. It is, however, pleasant to state that when "La 
Domino Rouge'* became Mrs. Mark Luescher, she dis- 
carded the title which brought great monetary returns, 
and, assuming the modest appellation of Mile. Dazie, was 
engaged by Oscar Hammerstein as la prima ballerina 
of the Manhattan Opera House where the most artistic 
and elaborate choregraphic presentations that have been 
witnessed in an American opera house were seen. 

Joseph Cawthorn, who is now appearing in "Little 
Nemo" on tour, was actually born on the stage. The 
Cawthorn children, Joe and Herbert, in 1872, were ap- 
pearing in a sketch of Teutonic character, under J. H. 
Haverly's direction, and already Joseph's concertina was 
in evidence. Forty years of stage life has left no indica- 
tion that his talent with this instrument will ever be 
omitted altogether in the vehicles used to display his 
unique personality. Herbert Cawthorn is several years 
older than Joseph, but has been on the stage about the 
same length of time. More than twenty years ago Her- 
bert, with his wife, Susie Forrester, began to "play dates" 
in a sketch so excruciatingly funny that they have 
seldom been called upon to change their material. 

It is hardly just to accuse some of these vaudeville 
favorites of indolence just because they have not been 
permitted to permanently withdraw their successes. The 
Russell Brothers have made herculean efforts to get 
away from their "Servant Girl" sketch, but if they suc- 
ceed it will have taken nearly forty years to do it. 

A travesty duo, Shean and Warren, in 1900, presented 

22 jfottp gears fl>&serfcatiott 

a side-splitting absurdity entitled "Quo Vadis Upside 
Down"; each year since Al Shean has either offered or 
tried to offer a new travesty from his pen, but neither 
managers nor public would have it so. 

Barney Fagan and Henrietta Byron rarely change 
their method of presenting themselves, but surely no one 
will accuse Barney Fagan of not being prolific in pro- 
viding stage novelties. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Murphy, whether it be in "The 
Coal Strike," or "Mickey's Finish," or what not, are al- 
ways the same, and the demand for their services never 

These artists who endure are the permanent reliance 
of the vaudeville manager ; they are the standard leaders 
whom all others must be content to follow. 

The list of others is too lengthy to be here recorded, 
but a few more may be named, such as Julian Eytinge, 
Seymour and Dupree, Eckert and Berg, George W. Mon- 
roe, Lewis and Ryan, Flo Irwin, Wilfred Clarke, Clayton 
White and Marie Stuart, John T. Kelly, James J. Morton, 
Ryan and Richfield, Fields and Ward, Pat Rooney and 
Marion Bent, the Elinore Sisters, Melville and Stetson. 
Filson and Enrol, the Empire City Four, John C. Rice 
and Sallie Cohen, Maggie Cline, York and Adams, Va- 
lerie Bergere and company, R. G. Knowles, Charles E. 
Evans and company, James Thornton, Clarice Vance, 
Edna Luby, the Four Mortons, Fred Niblo, Josephine 
Cohan, Lucy Weston, Annette Kellermann, Augusta 
Glose, Amelia Summerville, Katie Barry, World and 
Kington, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins D. Fisher, Effie Smedley 
and company, The Empire City Quartette, Willard 
Newell and company, Staley and Birbeck, and many 

There can be no question about their position in the 
field, be it "variety" or "vaudeville," and > the managers, 

of 9@ii0ic anD tfce Drama 23 

were they asked, would not hesitate to state that with- 
out these even modern vaudeville would be far from in- 
spiring. The great celebrities from the legitimate stage 
could more easily be spared than these time-tried fun- 
makers, who go on where they will, preceding or follow- 
ing any class of entertainment, and always with the same 
result. I am not sure but that even the Vesta Victorias 
and Eva Tanguays could more easily be spared than they. 
These names represent the "make-good" class, and they 
not only make good for themselves but also for others. 

Smith and Campbell entered the profession together, 
as a team, December 24, 1886, doing a black-faced, knock- 
about song and dance act. 

For several years they played this style of act through- 
out the West, where they met with considerable success 
but received small salaries. Coming to New York they 
were accorded a "trial" appearance at the old London 
Theatre on the Bowery, and were immediately engaged 
for the following season with a road company, with which 
they remained two seasons. During some following years 
they were with Josh Hart's Boston Novelty Co., Harry 
Williams' Co., Boston Howard Athenaeum Star Specialty 
Co., also Joe Hart's Co., under Weber and Fields' man- 

They were the first to introduce the "Rapid-Fire Side- 
walk Conversation," without make-up of any description ; 
and in the past years their style, methods and material 
have suffered more from pirating than almost any act in 
existence. They have now discarded the latter line, and 
are bringing before the public an incident taken from their 
own private lives, and which has proven successful be- 
yond expectations. 

In 1890, Smith and Campbell visited London, and were 
engaged for the entire summer, on the strength of their 
first performance. They separated some years ago, think- 

24 jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

ing it to their individual advantage; Mr. Campbell tour- 
ing the country, playing star parts in Hoyt's "Trip to 
Chinatown" and "The Stranger in New York," Mr. Smith, 
in the meantime exploiting the "Funny Mr. Dooley" 

Since their reunion they have been more successful 
than ever, and, we trust, will continue so. 

Snyder and Buckley are at the present time the oldest 
musical act of two original partners. 

They joined hands in July, 1891, and after playing 
around some of the small houses, they joined Barlow 
Brothers Minstrels in July, 1892, and played forty-five 
weeks of one-night stands at $30 for the two and "cakes." 

The season of 1897-8 was played with the Fay Foster 
Company, and at the disbanding of the company the rest 
of the year was played in vaudeville. 

Season of 1898-9 was with Gilmore and Leonard's 
Hogan's Alley Company, and 1899-1900 they made a trip 
to England on the Moss, Stoll and Livermoor tour. 

Season 1900-1-2 they were with Weber and Rush's 
Parisian Widows Company, and this season marks their 
seventh year in polite vaudeville, having played every 
house of prominence. 

They are the proud possessors of a date book in which 
they have every date they ever played in nineteen years, 
which is a curiosity in itself. 

Charles E. Evans has been a stage worker just forty 
years. He was born in 1856 (September 6) and made 
his debut in 1869. In 1872 he and James Niles formed a 
partnership that lasted ten years and in 1882 Niles and 
Evans combined with Bryant and Hoey, a quartet well 
worth quoting too. Niles died very soon after the four 
became famous, but Evans, Bryant and Hoey continued 
till 1884 when Bryant retired, and Evans and Hoey pro- 

of 9iu0ic attti tfie Drama 25 

duced "A Parlor Match," September 5, 1884 at Asbury 
Park, N. J. and played it for ten consecutive years. 

Evans aspired to the managerial end and became a 
power in New York theatricals. In September, 1894, he 
opened the Herald Square Theatre, having practically 
rebuilt the old Park Theatre. In 1900 he leased the 
Herald Square to the Shuberts and thought to retire, but 
a year later, in conjunction with the Shuberts, the 
Princess Theatre, frequently referred to as "The 
Morgue," was leased, rebuilt and opened in 1901. The 
last few years Evans has scored heavily in a sketch by 
George Arliss entitled, "It's Up to You, William" in the 
vaudeville theatres. Altogether Evans has had an inter- 
esting and decidedly successful career. 

Will M. Cressy comes in for mention here because of 
his remarkable achievements in vaudeville. He was born 
at Bradford, N. H. in 1863 (October 29). He was only 
twenty-seven years old when he made his debut on the 
stage, September 19, 1899. Miss Blanche Dayne, who 
afterwards became Mrs. Cressy, was a member of the 
same company (Frost and Fanshawe). After ten years 
varying success, in small parts in smaller companies, 
they, on December 19, 1899, entered vaudeville and with- 
out any experience in that line, without prestige, began 
to make history in that field. Their record is nothing 
short of phenomenal, having played incessantly for ten 
years, more than half the time in B. F. Keith's Theatres ; 
they have piled up records enough to fill a book. Besides 
writing their own vehicles, Mr. Cressy has written more 
than two-thirds of the plays presented in vaudeville by 
other artists. The achievements of Cressy and Dayne 
in vaudeville and of Cressy as a provider of material for 
vaudeville is absolutely without parallel. There are no 
players in vaudeville who have been, and who are to-day, 
in greater demand; the man or woman who can go up 

26 jfottp gears SDtwrtmtion 

to the booking offices of the associated vaudeville man- 
agers with a "Cressy Sketch" is sure of a hearing. 

In 1900, and for a brief period of two years a wide swath 
was cut in vaudeville by a trio of Syrians named Hashim. 
These were three brothers, Nahib, Albert and Alexander. 
It was Nahib however who had the brains if their opera- 
tions really displayed any of this precious quality. It 
happened that Madame Marie Basta Tavary, a soprano 
of Grand Opera and a worthy artiste, was then appearing 
in vaudeville, the period being the time when the writer 
was inducing some celebrity to enter the vaudeville field 
every twenty-four hours. Tavary spoke of Nahib 
Hashim as her wealthy husband from Smyrna and asked 
if he could not secure an entrance into the vaudeville 
field, where he would, in short order, become a factor. 
"He was," she said, "one of the most brilliant men in the 

The writer is here compelled to come forward in the 
first person, as the subject of vaudeville is approached. 
It happened that in 1900, the great power of the modern 
vaudevilles, Edward F. Albee, whose appellation of one 
"Simon Legree of vaudeville" will not seem so inappro- 
priate after all took the initiative in declaring that I had 
reached a position entirely too powerful and must be 
"disciplined." The methods used to crush my business 
policy would be of little interest, but it must be stated 
here, as a matter of record, that the real cause of this 
man's supposed intention to drive me out of vaudeville 
was because I had booked Neil Burgess in Mr. Proctor's 
Theatres when Keith and Proctor were bitter opponents. 

Mr. Burgess, Mr. Proctor and J. Austin Fynes are all 
living and all three know that Mr. Burgess played for 
Mr. Proctor because he needed the money, because he 
was idle ; the policy of Albee was that this man of family 
should not only not play for his opponents but also 

of 90u0tc attD tfje Drama 27 

should remain idle indefinitely without any promise or 
outlook that Albee would ever again offer him an oppor- 
tunity. I was only Mr. Burgess* temporary, fleeting 
representative, my influence over him and with him was 
slight. I had met him only a month or so before, yet 
Albee held me responsible because Neil Burgess was 
announced at the theatre of a man who is to-day his 
partner, and he then and there began a system of coercion 
which began to play havoc on my limited income, and to 
utterly annihilate the clientele I had worked so hard to 

However at this period, as I have said, Marie Basta 
Tavary came on the scene with Nahib Hashim. It is 
difficult to pen the impressions of this man, but he held 
in his power, in 1901, the opportunity to become a 
millionaire. I had determined to create opposition as a 
matter of protection, to find an outlet for my clients, and 
here, also it may be said, is an explanation of the many 
desperate attempts made by me to establish theatres 
and companies of my own with no other capital than the 
savings of these few years of prosperity, if dividing with 
the vaudeville managers this five per cent of the salaries 
of my clients can be called prosperity. 

Before the days of P. B. Chase, I gave Washington its 
first vaudeville of the present type. In Hartford, New 
Haven, Springfield, etc., I underwent the period of educa- 
tion from which S. Z. Poli afterward amassed millions. 
I was glad to welcome Hashim who posed in a grandiose 
manner, and secured for him the Grand Opera House in 
Philadelphia which was a vast auditorium. Hashim se- 
cured it at an absurdly low rental and opened in 
October, 1899, with a tremendous all-star aggregation of 
talent which included among others Camille D'Arville, 
Corinne and the Great Lafayette. Success was instan- 
taneous. Hashim made the first season nearly $80,000 

28 Jfortp gears 2D60ertoation 

and then he branched out; Koster and Bial's was leased, 
the Boston Theatre which was next door to Mr. Keith's 
Boston playhouse was also secured and in Washington, 
the Academy of Music was obtained. The Hashims too 
had the great advantage of operating during the time of 
the famed "White Rat" strike yet ultimately they failed 
most ingloriously. The reason well, let it remain 

Their fleeting advent is recorded to illustrate vaude- 
ville conditions at the time. Thousands are alive to-day 
who will not question my statement that had William 
Morris been the one to start this campaign, or had 
the Hashims possessed the William Morris nature, 
there would be a far different story to tell to-day. How- 
ever, the said William Morris is at this time putting up 
a battle royal to conserve a business which he started 
and developed to greatness. Morris will be proved equal 
to his situation and for once it will be found "that the 
survival of the fittest" will not mean Morris' overthrow. 

It is always dangerous to prophesy, but here is a man 
who is not only honest, young and popular, but has 
ability of an almost remarkable order. He, also, has said 
that he would never affiliate himself with the men who 
disloyally forsook him as long as he could maintain an 
office and one clerk in his own name. It is known that 
he has often been approached. Albee was once asked 
if William Morris would be sought out and bought into 
submission as was Klaw and Erlanger and others, he re- 
plied, so it is said, that he (Morris) "hadn't proved any- 
thing." It is therefore to be assumed that as soon as 
Morris does "prove something," the system which Albee 
knows so well how to operate will be brought into play 
with a view to ending the Morris reign. Therefore is the 
prophecy made that not in the next five years will 
William Morris be in the Keith forces; he will fight on 

of fi@u0ic anD tfie Drama 29 

and will win. To him will come the credit, unsuccess- 
fully sought by so many others, of mastering the tyranny 
which prevails on the eighth floor of the St. James build- 

His career has been truly extraordinary. It seems but 
yesteryear when he was an office boy in George Liman's 
Agency on East i4th Street. To-day he has the nucleus 
of a great circuit of theatres and is daily adding strength 
and material to the constructive side of his organization. 
His management of Harry Lauder, the manner in which 
he secured the Scot at all, is well known and a slight 
knowledge of the future possibilities of this growing 
magnate leads to the probability, if not the actual cer- 
tainty, that at last, the men who compose the "five per 
cent" syndicate of Modern Vaudeville have met their 
match if not their master. 

The distinction of having the largest number of thea- 
tres under his personal direction belongs to Martin Beck, 
general manager of the vast Orpheum chain of vaude- 
ville houses, extending from Chicago to 'Frisco and from 
Seattle to New Orleans. In this circuit there are twenty- 
seven first class vaudeville houses, and, through his hold- 
ings in the Western Vaudeville Managers' Association, 
for all of whom he is the sole New York representative 
and absolute dictator, he has the generalship over a total 
of fifty-two theatres in this country. Mr. Beck attained 
his prominence through his own individual efforts, un- 
aided by influence, and his own early struggles no doubt 
account for his well-known forebearance and charity to- 
ward struggling genius and ambitious beginners. 

Twenty years ago Martin Beck was a German actor, 
first at the Thalia Theatre in New York and later with 
the Waldemer Stock Company, in St. Louis. Heeding 

*The Vaudeville Syndicate is now located in the Longacre 

30 jfortp gears? 2D&0ertmtfott 

the advice of Horace Greely, Mr. Beck continued west- 
ward and settled in San Francisco where M. Meyerfeld, 
Jr., now president of the Orpheum Circuit and Realty 
Company had just acquired an interest in the Orpheum 
Theatre. Mr. Beck's intention was to establish a German 
Stock Company on the Pacific Coast and with this idea 
in mind he approached Mr. Meyerfeld the new manager 
of the Orpheum. The impression he made upon this 
recently installed magnate must have been a favorable 
one, for the interview ended in Mr. Beck's abandoning 
the German Stock proposition and forming an associa- 
tion with Mr. Meyerfeld. 

Mr. Beck pointed out to his partner that in order to 
provide the best offerings a greater number of weeks 
must be given the artists and furthermore that the long 
jump from Chicago must be broken in order to lessen 
their expense in travel. Under his active supervision, 
theatres were acquired in rapid succession in Los 
Angeles, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver and New Orleans. 
That was in the early days of the Orpheum Circuit. Since 
that time it has gradually moved eastward from Oakland 
to Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

By acquiring holdings with Kohl and Castle, Mr. Beck 
became interested in Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, 
Cincinnati, Louisville and Milwaukee. 

Mr. Beck's early histrionic training has been shown in 
his later achievements; he has displayed a fine discern- 
ment in the selection of offerings and his judgment is 
seldom wrong concerning a new act or an imported 

No manager in vaudeville has introduced so many 
innovations as he, and none has provided better facilities 
or so ably encouraged the artists to produce new and 
better material. 

William Henry Walker, better known throughout the 


of Q@ii0ic attB tfie Drama si 

theatrical world as Harry Williams, was a typical man- 
ager of the old school, and thoroughly representative of 
that class of men who controlled the variety theatres in 
this country four decades ago. He was born in Balti- 
more, December i, 1841, and died in his home in Alle- 
gheny, Pa., September 30, 1904. He began his life be- 
hind the scenes with Edwin Booth and the great For- 
rest. He was, with the possible exception of Tony 
Pastor, the oldest variety manager in the United States. 
His career proper began in the stock company at the 
Opera House in Norfolk, Va., in 1859. He reached Pitts- 
burg in 1866, and in that year became the stage manager 
of the Academy of Music, a theatre he afterward secured 
for himself and which he managed to the day of his 
death. This house is to-day maintained by his son, Harry 
Williams, Jr., and is one of the best regulated places of 
amusement in the world. Walker, or Williams, as he 
was best known, was associated with Fred Ames, a 
famed manager in Pittsburg at this period, and also with 
Trimble's Varieties in the same city. He played Panta- 
loon in pantomime at the Old Drury, as the Pittsburg 
Theatre was called, when it was under the consulship of 
William Henderson. Williams was eminently honest, 
and died with the reputation of never having incurred a 
single debt. He was a true lover of art in its many 
branches, and was wont to travel many hundred miles 
with his family for the purpose of witnessing some im- 
portant musical or dramatic event in New York or Chi- 
cago. The writer recalls that when, in 1902, Prince 
Henry of Prussia was honored by an all-star operatic 
representation, Williams requested me to purchase for 
him five seats in the orchestra, which sold at thirty dol- 
lars each ; he came here with his family for this sole pur- 
pose, returning to Pittsburg immediately after the per- 
formance. A characteristic of this truly representative 

32 jfortp gears 3)60ettoatton 

showman was that he never signed a contract with a per- 
former whom he would book to play at his Pittsburg 
theatres; many a time he sent a check to these, a few 
days before the date they were to open, for the salary he 
had agreed to pay by letter, deducting exactly the cost of 
transportation which they would save by not coming to 
Pittsburg. No artist ever suffered at Harry Williams' 
hands because he happened to be overbooked. Would 
that this could be said of the men who to-day control the 
more modern vaudeville theatres. 

Alfred E. Aarons is first recalled by the writer as the 
representative in New York of W. J. Gilmore, an old- 
time variety manager, who for forty years has maintained 
a theatre on Walnut street in Philadelphia and who re- 
tired a few years ago. The theatre itself, now called the 
Casino, is still owned by Gilmore. Upon its historic 
boards every famed artist of the variety stage, at some 
time or other, has trod and here what is now called 
vaudeville was presented in its most attractive form. 
The spectacular was also developed here and formed no 
insignificant part of the excellent programmes which Gil- 
more provided for the Quaker City patrons. 

It was at this house that Charles H. Yale got his im- 
petus and training; his association with Gilmore lasted 
through three decades. To-day he is presenting, on tour, 
veritable survivors of his Philadelphian undertakings. To- 
gether with Gilmore he presented an opera called "The 
Sea King" which was successful. His most potent pro- 
duction "The Devil's Auction," has had a reign in excess 
of twenty years. Yale also revived the "Twelve Tempta- 
tions," the spectacle that shone so glaringly at the Grand 
Opera House in the days of Colonel James Fisk, Jr. To 
return to Aarons, he was one of the first of the agents 
who maintained for vaudeville the booking facilities now 
so plentiful and profitable, and he was one of the most 

of $usfc anti t&e Drama 33 

industrious, too. He was the manager of Koster and 
Bial's when it was located on West 34th street (Oscar 
Hammerstein's first Manhattan Opera House). Aarons 
developed much ingenuity and an abundance of versatil- 
ity after he became better known. He wrote the scores 
for several successful musical comedies, and a dozen of 
his individual compositions have had large sales. He 
also proved himself decidedly capable as a producer and 
he staged his productions without any outside aid. When 
Klaw and Erlanger entered the vaudeville field as op- 
posed to the coterie of vaudeville managers then in con- 
trol, Aarons was selected to go abroad, which he did, and 
it would be far easier to state whom he did not engage 
than those whom he did; but it can be truthfully stated 
that as a result of Aarons' activity abroad, the price 
which the vaudeville managers had to pay to end the 
famous "war" of 1907 was not lessened. In fact, it is 
doubtful if the intricate mazes of this settlement and the 
enormous total of lawsuits they entailed, are even at this 
date adjusted. 

The vaudeville agent ever a factor is to-day every- 
where to be found; there are probably two hundred in 
New York alone. Twenty-five years ago they could be 
counted on one hand. Richard Fitzgerald was the pio- 
neer, a man of much honesty and charming personality 
who maintained his last office in Union Square. His suc- 
cessor was James J. Armstrong, who continued there 
after his death. 

Armstrong is the oldest in service of the vaudeville 
agents of to-day. He is also a man who has occupied 
every possible position in the theatrical field during the 
last thirty years. It would have been pleasant to be able 
to record that the innate honesty of this man and his 
long service which has benefited his kind for all time, 
had been appreciated by the men who have amassed mil- 

34 jfortp gears 2D60ertmtion 

lions in vaudeville management, but the reader of this 
volume has certainly discovered ere this that loyalty and 
generosity are not characteristics of these potentates. It 
must not be assumed, however, that there are no excep- 
tions among them. There is no more loyal or good- 
hearted man in theatredom than Frederick F. Proctor. 

Thirty years ago the foremost agents of vaudeville, be- 
sides Fitzgerald and Armstrong, were George Liman and 
his partner, one Herrmann, whose initials I cannot now 
recall ; Edmund Gerson, long associated with the Kiralfy 
Brothers, to whom he was related by marriage ; Charles 
Fenz and the late Wm. Rosinsky, who at one time was 
a tremendous power, with offices in London and Paris 
as well. Vaudeville surely has been a prize for those who 
persisted in it. 

William Morris, who began as an office boy with 
George Liman himself, never forgot when he became a 
power the benefits of long service and no man ever 
treated his employees more kindly or more generously, 
and the boys who began with him when he started out for 
himself Edward S. Kellar and Louis Pincus are pros- 
perous agents to-day. While they were with Morris 
their salaries increased from less than $10 to $75 a week. 
As it was with these "graduates" of the Morris office, 
so is it with those who are to-day with this appreciative 
employer, two of whose most valued assistants, Murry 
Feil and Charles Wilshin, were office boys with him at 
a comparatively recent date. Is this, then, not worth 
the telling? Where can one find record of more rapid 
progress than in the theatrical field? Nearly all the men 
to-day prospering as vaudeville agents filled lowly posi- 
tions but a few years ago. 

Messrs. Reich and Plunkett, a reputable firm of agents, 
were both employed in the offices of Hurtig and Seamon 
not so long ago. They have become powerful and are 

of 9@ti0ic anD tfie Drama 35 

constantly expanding. They become managers in the fall 
of 1909. 

M. S. Bentham, an agent who is identified with the bet- 
ter class of attractions and who comes under the class of 
exclusive agents, began by representing an act or two of 
acrobatic type. He came here from Glens Falls, un- 
known and without incentive, yet he has in a single year 
earned as high as $20,000, if indeed this is not greatly 
underestimating his income. 

P. J. Casey, who to-day is perhaps the most successful 
of all, has come forward within the last few years. He 
was the valued aid of P. F. Shea in Springfield, Mass. 
Shea, by the way, has been a veritable "mascot." All 
of his employees and all of his backers are to-day pros- 
perous as a result of their association with him, especial- 
ly Casey. Shea had a circuit of variety theatres, and 
Casey looked after them. He was gifted with a good 
personality, free from all objectionable habits, and when 
he came to the city to live, became very popular. Eventu- 
ally he was employed by William Morris at a very large 
salary, and in the famed vaudeville war often here re- 
ferred to, Casey was a prime factor. He also figured ex- 
tensively in the peace arrangements, and as a result of 
these, less than a year ago, he started up an agency in 
the St. James Building; and in the short space of a few 
months has become the predominating figure among 
agents. It would be a hazardous guess to assume the 
amount which this man will have earned in the first 
twelve months of his operations for himself, but if it is 
less than $25,000 it will be because he has had to pay 
tribute, somewhere, for the privileges which he has been 
able to command. 

Other agents earning large yearly incomes are Albert 
Sutherland, Louis Wesley (who had been a comedian of 
merit, but who found a lucrative field for himself in 

36 jfortp gears fisertmtion 

vaudeville), John Levy, who used to be a diamond dealer 
and who was married to Miss Delia Fox; William L. 
Lykens, who hailed from St. Joseph, Mo., where he had 
wealthy connections, and who has been a manager of 
theatres and companies. Lykens managed Tootles Opera 
House in St. Joseph a quarter of a century ago, and was 
Maggie Mitchell's manager near the end of her unexam- 
pled artistic career. 

An agent more associated with the foreign style of acts 
is Richard Pitrot, and no man to-day stands in greater 
esteem. Pitrot used to give an act himself, and a great 
act it was. He was the first to impersonate great per- 
sonalities, changing the wigs, etc., before his audiences. 
A few years ago, although he had always been an agent, 
he abandoned his specialty altogether and confined him- 
self to his foreign representation. He has been called 
"The Globe Trotter," and the title is justified if his many 
voyages all over the world would give that designation. 
Pitrot's influence is very great and in Europe no man 
connected with the variety stage is more respected. His 
advice is sought by many before they embark for this 
country ; he is also able to bring to this country any artist 
he desires without a contract. I have never heard any 
one complain of Pitrot nor has he ever been conspicuous 
in legal complications for breach of contract, such as is 
so often the case with foreign agents. He has been an 
asset for any manager who happened to be opposed to 
the vaudeville interests that are in control here, even 
though that manager had but few theatres as ammunition 
for the fray. Pitrot always was able to supply him with 
the best attractions, and it is fair to state that the agent 
was always able to provide bookings for those who 
showed confidence in him by journeying three thousand 
miles with perhaps nothing but a telegram wherewith to 
protect themselves. There are not many men like him in 






Stars of Vaudeville. 

of Qgtt0ic anD tfte Drama 37 

the vaudeville world to-day; he is not popular with the 
coterie in the St. James Building, but this is not surpris- 

Another agent very similar in type to Pitrot, and who 
is much beloved in this country, where he once was per- 
manently located, is Emanuel Warner, of the firm of 
Somers and Warner, agents who to-day hold the Euro- 
pean variety market in their hands. Warner came here 
first about fifteen years ago, and he was one of the most 
conspicuous figures in the theatrical life of the city; he 
seemed to be everywhere. The manner in which he 
would sign, without consulting either artist or manager, 
contracts for fabulous sums, and for lengthy duration, 
attracted the widest attention. Warner had a great deal 
to do with the success which came to Koster and Dial's 
in its era of prosperity, and he was of the safe and sane 
type; insane salaries were not yet in vogue. Of late 
Warner's visits to America are rare indeed, but no artist 
or professional who visits the English metropolis ever 
fails to meet him; when on rare occasions, he does ap- 
pear on Broadway, he is the centre of attraction among 
his wide circle of business associates and the thousands 
of artists for whom he was then or had been the repre- 
sentative on both sides of the Atlantic. 

J. B. Morris, who is not related to William, has built 
up a chain of vaudeville theatres through sheer industry 
and persistence. He rarely leaves his New York office 
and is to be found at his desk from noon till midnight. 
It is due to his attention to the minutest details of busi- 
ness, that he has established his banner successfully in 
the cities where he maintains theatres. This manager, 
less than a lustrum ago, went into the small town of 
North Adams, where important interests before him had 
failed, and by the display of sheer showmanship and a 
strict pursuance of a well-laid routine, has built up a 

38 Jfortp gears 2D&$ertmtion 

patronage which is to-day best illustrated by the state- 
ment that an average week's business finds fifty-five per 
cent of the population of the city as patrons of his beau- 
tiful theatre, the Richmond. In Gloversville, N. Y., it is 
the same, save that the manufacturing element predomi- 
nates there, and the matinees are not so tremendously 

Edward Rush, of the firm of Weber and Rush, fifteen 
years ago had one company on tour, a burlesque organi- 
zation. He had been a struggling, hard-working man, 
and his "hustling" propensities were so well directed that 
in a few years' time he began to assert his domain, adding 
companies and theatres each year, and always with suc- 
cess. One of the earliest investments of Rush and his 
partner was to purchase ground in the growing city of 
Schenectady for a vaudeville theatre, the Mohawk by 
name. Twenty years ago Schenectady, as a one-night 
stand, was a precarious proposition, but Rush survived 
the period necessary to put his public through the educa- 
tional phase so necessary for ultimate vaudeville suc- 
cess; and he soon found it possible not only to present 
"big bills," but gross receipts of three thousand dollars 
in a single week were the rule rather than the exception. 
The firm of Weber and Rush to-day has vast interests 
in theatres and companies, and within a year will enter 
the metropolis on a large scale, having purchased the 
ground for what is to be the first real music hall that 
was built for that purpose at the outset, that New York 
has ever had. This establishment will be located near 
47th street, just off Longacre Square, and much is heard 
as to the innovations which are there to be experimented. 

John D. Hopkins, at present a considerable factor in 
the West and South, where he has large theatre and park 
interests, was managing the Theatre Comique in Provi- 
dence thirty-five years ago. It was there that he first 

of 90u0ic att& tfte Drama 39 

became prominent, and at no time since has he failed to 
be conspicuous in various endeavors of the theatre. He 
was the pioneer of vaudeville elevation in the West, and 
at his theatre on State Street in Chicago the People's 
despite the fact that the locale was not the best for such 
a purpose, he quickly grasped the policy which the New 
York managers inaugurated, and was the first to bring 
to Chicago stars from the legitimate stage, paying them 
large salaries and completely revolutionizing the class of 
patronage for vaudeville in that city. Hopkins also was 
the first to establish high-class vaudeville on a prodigious 
scale in summer parks. In these efforts he was assisted 
materially by Samuel W. Gumpertz, who is his brother- 
in-law, they having married members of the celebrated 
vaudeville team, the Misses Melville and Stetson. Mr. 
Gumpertz is at this time associated with William H. 
Reynolds, the projector of the Dreamland enterprise at 
Coney Island and at present the manager of the Montauk, 
the leading theatre of Brooklyn. 

George Castle, member of the firm of Kohl and Castle, 
is one of the oldest variety agents in this country, and 
is still active. His career has been notable and is il- 
lustrative of the remarkable results to be achieved in the 
amusement field when accompanied by stability and per- 
severance. Castle's methods have remained the same, 
though, for virtually the entire thirty years of his activ- 
ity, he remained a variety agent, and was proud of it, too. 
When his wealth permitted him to embrace the prevailing 
conditions and he became the leading magnate West 
in modern vaudeville, he was decidedly reluctant to avail 
himself of the new conditions. He wrote his own let- 
ters to performers up to a comparatively recent date, 
just as he did before the days of the typewriter, and it is 
to him that the important interests, known as the West- 
ern Association of Vaudeville Managers, are indebted for 

40 JFortp gears SD&0ertmticm 

the survival of the agency plan which he created and 
which to-day has so multiplied that the representation 
of more than three hundred theatres of all classes and 
size is exclusively vested in their hands, resulting in an 
income so large, that the figures, if published, would be 
considered amazing. Castle is of American birth, and 
his one hobby, aside from a devotion to his beloved 
agency work, is the breeding of horses, of which he has 
the largest stable of any one individual in the amusement 

For years the name Noss has been a household word 
throughout the amusement world. 

In 1884, in a modest way, the Noss Family began their 
stage career as child artists, appearing as a concert com- 
pany when that style of entertainment was so popular. 
Anticipating a change in the demands of the amusement- 
loving public, they soon foresook concert for farce and 
musical comedy, which line they followed with marked 
success for a number of years. Realizing the great pos- 
sibilities of vaudeville, they were early in the field, where 
earnest and conscientious efforts have secured for them 
an enviable reputation. 

The ancestors of this talented family were all famous 
musicians in Germany and France, and it is said of the 
present family that each was born with an instrument in 
his hand, as none can remember when they began to play. 

The remarkable success attained by this family is a 
demonstration of what can be accomplished by harmo- 
nious and united efforts. 

Lew Dockstader is the second oldest minstrel manager 
now active, though he surely does not look the part; he 
has been on the stage since infancy. His career is worthy 
of more serious attention than can be given in a volume 
of this character. 

It was in Philadelphia that Lew Dockstader became 

of Sgustc ana tfie Drama 41 

known in the particular field in which he has so long 
endured. Often, at the nth Street Opera House in that 
city, the Dockstader Brothers were the feature for an 
entire season. It should be stated that the W. L. Dock- 
stader who manages an excellent vaudeville theatre at 
Wilmington, Delaware, where many new acts are given 
their first opportunity, is not a relative of Lew Dock- 
stader, but at one time he was the "Brother" during the 
stage career of a Dockstader duo. However, Lew 
Dockstader's real vogue began when he came to the little 
theatre at 2Qth Street and Broadway, referred to so often 
as "the morgue." He played one engagement of refined 
minstrelsy at this house that came nearer to real success 
than anything the house ever offered up to the time 
"Zira" was produced by Henry Miller and Miss Anglin. 

It may be said of Dockstader that his success is due 
to something more than ability to entertain. I have seen 
him remain on the stage a full hour, and have known 
him to provide more real news in his monologue than 
one would obtain from a perusal of all the daily papers 
combined. It will be curious to ascertain what com- 
pensation will be meted out to Dockstader by the vaude- 
ville magnates, should he ever decide to return to that 
field. Certainly no one can possibly earn more than this 
minstrel who, not so long ago, was paid in these theatres 
a tenth of what is to-day allotted to a half-dozen singers 
of ribald songs. 

It is known that Dockstader has always bitterly re- 
sented this failure to grant him a fair honorarium, and 
the coterie of agents who have danced attendance upon 
him, have had little or no encouragement. The state- 
ment is here made that if Lew Dockstader ever returns 
to vaudeville it will be at the largest figure ever accorded 

"Pony" Moore is passing his ninetieth year, but is 

42 JFortg gears; Dbserimticm 

still to be found, hale and hearty, at his delightful retreat 
in London. "Pony" is an American, but the greater part 
of the last forty years have been spent by him in London. 
He was long identified with permanent minstrels in the 
English metropolis. 

Sam Hague, who had a sort of permanent minstrel hall 
at Liverpool, made one visit to this country, which was 
anything but profitable. Nor was there much basis found 
here for the fame which the organization achieved in 

Milt. G. Barlow and George Wilson were touring in 
the South with minstrelsy thirty-three years ago. Wil- 
son was the most popular man that ever put burnt cork 
on his face in the Southern country; his name would 
suffice to pack any house south of Baltimore. 

Barlow drifted from minstrelsy and for a long time 
played "Uncle Tom" in Harriet Beecher Stowe's play. 

The actor-minstrel is not uncommon. Willis P. Sweat- 
nam, who has had as long and honorable a career as his 
forty years of service would permit, scored "hits" in sev- 
eral plays, notably in "The County Chairman" of George 
Ade. Sweatnam was so high class in his monologue 
work that he was only too often "over the heads" of his 
audiences. He was very sensitive, and no artist on the 
operatic or dramatic stage was ever more conscientious. 
When an audience was found that really could compre- 
hend his wholly ridiculous patter, they would sit back 
and roar. As a journalist in the "City of Culture" once 
wrote : "We laugh at Sweatnam far better the next day." 

George Primrose and William H. West, during a 
period of about five years, were the leading exponents 
of ministrelsy. They had the largest and most modern 
organization and were alert to the public desire for ex- 
pansion. Both these minstrels amassed large fortunes. 

of Q9u0tc attD tfie Drama 43 

They were really a team of clog dancers, and rarely fig- 
ured extensively in the programmes given. 

West was a veritable Beau Brummel, and became con- 
spicuous in the gay life of the metropolis. He married 
Fay Templeton, whom he knew from childhood. 

Fay was playing in the South as "The Little Fay," in 
the yo's, and West was an intimate friend of dear old 
"Uncle John" Templeton, Fay's father. I had the pleas- 
ure of witnessing a performance of "La Mascotte" in 
the city of Shreveport, Louisiana, in the spring of 1883, 
more than a quarter of a century ago, in which Fay Tem- 
pleton was the Bettina. What an artiste! New York 
has never been permitted to see this magnetic woman in 
her real field. Even to-day, no artist of any nationality 
can hope to rival her in roles of the Bettina stamp. If 
she could master the French language, as did Sadie Mar- 
tinot, what a glorious feature she would be at the New 
Theatre next winter in the promised revival of opera 

Playwrights have found it profitable to turn their at- 
tention to the vaudeville stage, in recent years. George 
Cohan and Will S. Cressy are not the only authors to 
find a ready field in the "two-a-day" theatres. 

Edmund Day, up to the time he wrote the "Round Up," 
was so prolific that his playlets were booked before they 
were presented, by the managers. Day provided one of 
these playlets for his own use, entitled "The Sheriff," but 
this was by no means his best work. A brother of Ed- 
mund Day, George W., is one of the most entertaining 
monologists in the vaudevilles, and, like brother Edmund, 
is prolific in providing material. 

Another writer of playlets and sketches, principally 
the latter, is Charles Horwitz, who has provided a large 
number of the most successful stars with their best vehi- 

44 jfortp gears flDbmtmtion 

cles. Horwitz was of the vaudeville team of Horwitz 
and Bowers, so that he came to his reign as author know- 
ing what vaudeville audiences wanted. Horwitz and 
Bowers were prime favorites fifteen years ago, and their 
vogue was only interrupted by the success which came 
to their ballads "Because," "Always," "Wait," and 
others. Encouraged by the success of their ballads they 
wrote a musical play, which Edward E. Rice produced 
at the New York Theatre. It was called "King Highball." 
It did not score, but there was enough merit to the work 
for several of the best numbers to be used for vaudeville. 
Frederick Bowers sang his own songs for a time and 
sang them far better than anyone else did ; he afterwards 
evolved a novelty "girl act," and to-day he is presenting 
this in the vaudeville circuits.* 

Here are the possibilities of the tremendous activity in 
these days. These men can turn out the most entranc- 
ing gems and also the most pronounced comedy. Could 
anything be more interesting to our Broadway mana- 
gers? The future career of these two collaborators will 
depend entirely upon the measure of opportunity granted 

Herbert Hall Winslow has written a large number of 
playlets for modern vaudeville; the list must to-day be 
enormous. Winslow first came into prominence with a 
clever farce, which he wrote for the late J. B. Polk, en- 
titled "A Silent Partner" it played an entire evening. 

Of the gentlemen from the fistic arena who have 
sought to elevate the stage, one only has shown the 
slightest aptitude for the field. James J. Corbett alone 
has succeeded in surviving the mere curiosity which his 
appearance at first excited. He happened to be, in a de- 
gree, a man of letters ; he was sincerely ambitious to 

*Bowers is to star in a college play under John Cort's manage- 
ment in the Fall of 1909. 

of figusic anfl tfte Drama 45 

make progress and sought vigorously to improve from 
the outset. His appearances, too, have generally been 
characterized with a certain dignity that was wholly 
lacking in the efforts of his pugilistic confreres. When 
he prepared a monologue, to exploit in the vaudevilles, 
he astonished his friends by the unction with which his 
delivery was accompanied. For nearly ten years Cor- 
bett has found it possible to command serious considera- 
tion as a single entertainer, and when he occasionally 
seeks stellar recognition through the medium of a play, 
the effort is always commendable. 

When the invincible John L. Sullivan vanquished Kil- 
rain in New Orleans, two decades ago, Duncan B. Harri- 
son, a brother of Maud Harrison, wrote a play for him, 
called "Honest Hearts and Willing Hands," which served 
the purpose for which it was evolved, and was the source 
of large profit to all concerned in the undertaking. 

Forty years ago the Astor House at City Hall, while 
not the Rialto, was nevertheless the rendezvous of man- 
agers and players; and in its famous rotunda many of 
the celebrities of that period were wont to congregate, 
at the noon hour, and discuss their plans just as they do 
to-day at the Hotel Astor in Longacre Square. The 
hotels most frequented by the profession, however, at this 
time were the Metropolitan, which adjourned Niblo's 
Garden; also the St. Nicholas Hotel, which was opposite 
the Theatre Comique, where Harrigan and Hart reigned 
supreme; and the Grand Central, which was the most 
prominent hotel in New York for many years. It was at 
this hostelry that Edward S. Stokes shot and killed Col- 
onel James Fisk, Jr., a colonel of the Seventh Regiment 
and a famed man about town. The details of this cause 
celebre are well known, and, in any event, have no place 
in this volume, save to state that the death of the gay 
colonel put an end to the lavish productions which he 

r 46 JFottp gears 2D&0ecfcatton 

was always ready to provide for his toy (the Grand 
Opera House), which after his death reverted to the 

An instance wherein the distinction between grand 
opera and vaudeville was completely cast to the winds 
is here recorded. In 1903 I had succeeded in inducing 
Eugenia Mantelli, for five years leading contralto at the 
Metropolitan, to make the vaudeville plunge; $1,000 
weekly was the bait. Her opening took place in Brook- 
lyn at Hyde and Behman's, where the late Henry W. 
Behman was ambitious to have all stars from the legiti- 
mate stage make their vaudeville debut. The location 
was not just what the writer sought for his star, but the 
truth is that Henry Behman was the only vaudeville 
manager who had ever heard of Mantelli. Oh! these 
magnates who to-day sit high in their pompous direc- 
torates! Not so long ago one of their leading members, 
when offered Edouard Remenyi, the famed Hungarian 
violinist, asked if there was "any scenery in the sketch?" 
On another occasion, when the baritone, Del Puente 
he whom all New York had applauded at the Academy 
was quoted by this writer with the idea that the dig- 
nity of vaudeville could not be better upheld than by 
the appearance of this superb singer, the manager who 
had the first opportunity to sign him a manager who 
to-day is the possessor of more theatres in Greater New 
York than any other single interest turned to me in 
all seriousness, and after hopelessly looking over his lay- 
out book, inquired "If she couldn't do her act in one?" 

But, let us return to Madame Mantelli. It was impos- 
sible to interest the managers in this artist. It happened 
that Louise Homer was the contralto at the Metropolitan 
that season, and on a particular evening was announced 
to sing Amneris in "Aida," a role in which she has al- 
ways found many admirers. On this night Madame 

of flu0ic anD tfte Drama 47 

Homer was so ill that she had been forbidden to go to 
the opera house at all; she persisted, and attempted to 
go through the first act. The house was packed "Aida," 
with the two De Rezskes, Eames and Homer being a 
potent attraction always. Maurice Grau was in a quan- 
dary as to how he should proceed; not an artist in the 
Metropolitan could help him out. Mantelli was at the 
Marlborough Hotel. It was nine-forty-five P. M. She 
had just returned from singing in vaudeville when my 
brother, in desperation, had called her up; messengers 
were scouring the city for her. The result was that in 
less than thirty minutes she was on the stage of the great 
opera house one that she never should have left and 
was singing the role of Amneris to four thousand per- 
sons. The next morning every paper in New York, and 
many outside of New York, devoted columns to the 
miraculous aid she had been to the Metropolitan. This 
attracted the vaudeville managers, and bookings were 
at once granted in the largest cities and best theatres; 
but let it be said that but for this remarkable accident, 
Eugenia Mantelli would have been regarded by the mag- 
nates of vaudeville of 1903 as "one of Grau's Gold 
Bricks" a species that came into being in connection 
with the great uplift which made millionaires of more 
than one manager. 

The development of vaudeville has brought about in 
its evolutions the producer as distinguished from the 
booking agent of other days. The distinction lies in that 
the former method implied no responsibility, the agent 
receiving his five or ten per cent, for placing the attrac- 
tion, according to the arrangements existing between the 

About ten years ago Jessy Lasky, who had been a per- 
former of average quality, began to speculate as a sor/ 
of middle man; his initial efforts were modest enough. 

48 jfottp gears; 2D&0ertmtiott 

His first attraction of importance was when he presented 
Leon Herrmann, a nephew of the real Herrmann, who, 
at the time of the death of the latter, was taken in hand 
by the widow of the magician and exploited as his suc- 
cessor. Lasky paid Herrmann a fixed sum and took for 
himself the profit remaining after payment of all ex- 
penses. This worked out so well that the firm of Lasky 
and Rolfe was evolved, and together they became pro- 
ducers on a large scale, scoring success in nearly every 
effort, and raising the level of the presentation each time. 
The firm, a few years ago, dissolved, and B. A. Rolfe 
became an independent producer. Lasky has produced 
no less than a dozen substantial attractions, some of 
which will stand comparison with the best seen in the 
$2.00 theatres; the best of these was perhaps the oper- 
etta "A Love Waltz," which was a result of the vogue 
accorded "The Merry Widow" and "A Waltz Dream." 

Another of these producers who is, however, of more 
recent record is Charles Lovenberg, who has been the 
manager of Mr. Keith's Providence theatre (now owned 
by E. F. Albee) since the day it first came into being as a 
vaudeville theatre. In the instance of Mr. Lovenberg, 
it is fair to state that he is greatly aided by his knowledge 
of music and the technical side of the theatre, having 
been for more than a quarter of a century a musical di- 
rector and instructor in various branches of stage work. 

In no calling can there be found men with more per- 
severence and persistency than in the field of the theatre, 
and not always are the more worthy of these credited 
with their decidedly interesting exploits. In Atlantic 
City there is one man, Joseph Fralinger, who some day 
will be accorded monumental honors from the citizens 
of that resort. At present he is the owner of the beauti- 
ful Apollo Theatre, and it is to be hoped that this superb 
edifice will remain free from the fiery flames long enough 

of 9&U01C and tjje Drama 49 

to give its owner a period of rest from the incessant 
building which fire and destruction has entailed upon 
him. Fralinger built his first theatre the Academy of 
Music in just six weeks; it lasted just two. Then he 
rebuilt on the same site, and the structure did not last 
until a performance was given within its four walls. Just 
one of his many theatres lasted four years, but the de- 
struction in this instance was so severe, and depleted the 
resources of Fralinger to such an extent, that he did not 
have the means to again build until a year ago, when 
the first strictly modern theatre which Atlantic City has 
ever had was opened under the management of Samuel 
F. Nixon. 

Fralinger's career is unique in that he is the only man- 
ager who can say he has built four theatres on the same 
site, and that none of the fires which destroyed these 
originated in the theatres. Fralinger displayed much 
courage and persistency to make Atlantic City evolve 
gracefully from the period when it was the worst show 
town in America to the time when it became one of the 
best. He has occupied every position from property boy 
to manager, and it is fair to say of him that like many 
another manager of a more humane period of the theatre,, 
he was often known to permit the combination manager 
to take away with him the gross receipts in order to pre- 
serve the reputation of the ocean resort among theatrical 
people. Fralinger is the originator of the salt water taffy 
which made Atlantic City famous. 

In Buffalo, at what is now a Shubert theatre, then 
called the Lyric, a man of adamant, John Laughlin, has 
held the fort. Theatrical history cannot record any sim- 
ilar display of courage than this manager has shown for 
nearly twenty years. He has been dispossessed by every 
means known to law and outlawing a band of hucksters 
camping on his trail was so common a sight in Buffalo 

50 JFottp gears 2D&0e*tmttott 

that one of the leading dailies suggested that the edi- 
torial department keep the subject in type permanently; 
but the fight he has always put up, aside from any con- 
ditions of equity, was always so strenuous and effective 
that he has not been permanently ousted up to the time 
these pages go to press. In fact, it is now nearly a year 
since he has been called upon to defend his seemingly 
impregnable position. That theatre has always been a 
line of contention, even when it was known as the Co- 
rinne Lyceum, and was a part of the chain of houses 
which H. R. Jacobs converted into a cheap-priced amuse- 
ment circuit in the early 8o's. 

One of the most virile and important factors in the 
theatrical world of Philadelphia to-day is William W. 
Miller, who has made his impress and established his 
position in probably a less number of years than any 
other man prominent in affairs of the stage. Mr. Miller 
has always been an ardent patron and admirer of the- 
atricals, but he had no interest otherwise than that of 
spectator until 1900, which year he purchased an interest 
in the Forepaugh Stock Company, and the famous 
Quaker City play-house of the same name. Two years 
later he also secured an interest in the Girard Avenue 
Theatre, continuing therein the splendid stock company 
established, which in years following turned out a goodly 
/number of stars, who are now making good in various 
'sections of the country. For the past few years the house 
has been offering the better class of popular-priced road 

Recently Mr. Miller was successful in organizing a 
syndicate to complete the building of the William Penn 
Theatre in West Philadelphia, which, when completed, 
will cost upwards of a half million dollars, seat 3,000 
people, be thoroughly fireproof, and a most welcome ad- 
dition to the city's play-houses. This theatre, in advance 

of Sit0ic anD tfje Drama 

of its completion, he has leased for a long term of years 
and will personally manage. In addition to these three 
houses Mr. Miller is also, directly or indirectly, interested 
in a number of other theatrical ventures. 

New York in the early yo's had several theatres of 
which one hears little to-day and barely any record exists 
of their occupancy, hence it will not be inappropriate to 
devote some space to these, and thus perpetuate facts that 
otherwise might become obsolete. 

In East 34th Street Billy Pastor, brother of Tony, had, 
for several years, a hall which was called the 34th Street 
Theatre. Here many artists who afterward became 
prominent got their first Metropolitan opportunity. The 
theatre was located between 3d and 2d Avenues. It was 
on the ground floor and was about the accepted size of 
nearly all the theatres devoted to variety in those times, 
seating about eight hundred and having one gallery; 
Billy, like Tony, sang topical songs with much success. 
In appearance his theatre was similar to the one long 
managed by his brother on East i4th Street. 

On the same block, a few doors nearer Third Avenue, 
on the same side of the street (South), Martin Campbell 
built and managed a hall called "Parisian Varieties," and 
here was given a decidedly off color class of entertain- 
ment, which it is pleasant to be able to record, would not 
now be tolerated in the Greater City. 

The Parisian Can Can was here presented in its most 
offensive form, and though at intervals, the theatre 
was raided, its disgraceful policy was sustained for 
several years. Old New York simply revelled in this 
class of entertainment, and in 1872, no less than five 
theatres, supposedly of a reputable class, were devoted to 
the exposition of the Can Can, then almost epidemic. 

In the Greenwich District, about a stone's throw West 
of Jefferson Market Prison, Jake Berry built a small but 

52 jfortg gears 2D&0ertmticm 

well appointed music hall, which was called the Columbia 
Avenue Opera House. Berry was at this time the 
accepted Czar of indecent stage presentation ; his theatre 
contained a tier of private boxes, the purpose of which 
was mysterious. The bar was the mint, presided over by 
J. Charles Davis, who afterwards became an important 
factor in the business department of theatricals and has 
made several tours of the world in a theatrical capacity. 

Berry's Theatre can be set down as having given the 
most indecent performances that New York has wit- 
nessed in the last half century. He and his wife Belle 
Berry, were often found in the police courts, defending 
themselves, and generally with success. It is but justice 
to relate for Berry that with the profits he had hoarded 
at this and similar resorts, he purchased the lease of what 
is now Corse Payton's Theatre in the Williamsburg dis- 
trict, and here under the name of J. S. Berger he main- 
tained a first class theatre ; his latter career was decidedly 
in contrast with the period which is here particularly 

Another auditorium, a much more substantial one, 
handsome and elaborately furnished, was Robinson Hall 
on East i6th Street between Broadway and Fifth 
Avenue. The very same four walls are, to-day, occupied 
by a library. There M. B. Leavitt, before he had reached 
the more dignified portion of his career, presented the 
then pioneer and leading organization of its class, The 
Rentz Santley Company. 

It cannot be stated that the moral status of the very 
beautiful and reputable auditorium was in any degree 
'improved through the stage spectacle which was pre- 
sented by the Rentz Santley Company. The Can Can 
was here seen in all its pristine glory. 

The Hall seated about one thousand and every night 

of 90u0ic attD tfje Drama 53 

the sale of tickets was stopped during the reign of this 
attraction. However, in the then tenderloin district, the 
purveyors of indecency did not follow their course with 
the same impunity which characterized Campbell's ten- 
ancy of the Parisian Varieties. In due course of time, Mr. 
Robinson, the owner of the property assumed control, 
and with a really worthy incentive, organized an English 
opera bouffe company of considerable merit and pre- 
sented the first English version of Charles Lecocq's 
"Girofle Girofla" which, although it ran for several 
months, did not repay the pains and outlay and Robinson 
resorted, perhaps in desperation, to a revival of the "Can 
Can" which, on this installation was seen in its vilest form 
with prodigious financial results. 

The writer, in devoting considerable space to this sub- 
ject, is prompted, principally, by a desire to illustrate the 
improved moral status of the times. No words could do 
justice to the character of the burlesques and dances 
which prevailed in this Metropolis thirty-five years ago, 
and nothing can better indicate the progress of what is 
now called modern vaudeville, than this reference to a 
class of entertainment which prospered and flaunted glar- 
ingly for nearly a decade. 

54: JFortp gears 2>&0ertmtiott 


JOHN BROUGHAM'S theatrical career, while 
mostly in the lower part of the city, below Canal Street, 
came to a close, in the theatre known as Brougham's 
Lyceum on West 24th Street, the site of what up to a 
few months ago had been the Madison Square Theatre. 
One of his most memorable engagements took place at 
the 1 4th Street, then the French Theatre, a playhouse of 
more historic worth than any theatre still standing in 
this city. Brougham had a benefit at this same theatre 
that will not be forgotten by any one who was present. 
Programmes of this extraordinary performance are to be 
seen in remote sections of the world saved because of 
the great intrinsic worth of the souvenir. 

The vogue of an actor has declined; for certain it is, 
our ancestors were far more loyal to their favorites than 
we are to-day. Thirty years ago, the mere announce- 
ment that John E. Owens would play "Solon Shingle" 
or that the elder Emmett would appear in "Fritz" would 
be sufficient to create the wildest enthusiasm. 

Owens made a fair sized fortune. At the time of his 
death he owned the Academy of Music in Charleston, 
S. C., which is still called after him. 

Emmett's escapades did not in any way detract from 
his tremendous popularity and though he was wont to 
disappear for a week at a time, still the interest and 
admiration he created never lessened ; he was always for- 
given and the periods between "disappearances" grew 

of S@u0tc attD tfte Drama 55 

longer and longer. His son, J. K. Emmett, Jr., who 
succeeded him and who had, for a long time, been his 
father's manager, has found a field for himself. He is 
now playing in vaudeville. 

Wm. H. Stuart was a manager of the old school and 
will be recalled by the people who knew him before his 
demise, two decades ago. His greatest achievement was 
the one hundred night run of "Hamlet," with Edwin 
Booth, at Winter Garden. And well may he have been 
proud of it, for, save in London, a Shakespearean play 
has never been known to hold the public's attention for 
such a length of time. The scenic arrangement that 
would, to-day, insure such a run would, of necessity, be 
extraordinarily artistic and costly. 

There were four brothers Booth John Wilkes, Edwin, 
and Junius Brutus being alike tragedians. The fourth 
brother was a Doctor Booth, who often left his practice 
to assist in the business management of the tours of 
Edwin. He lived in Long Branch for many years and 
owned a cottage there. 

Stuart was not an ordinary man. When he opened 
the theatre on Broadway between 2ist and 226. Streets, 
he determined that long runs would be his policy. Here 
it was that Mark Twain's play, "The Gilded Age" was 
first produced and, though it was unmercifully scored 
at the time, it ran an entire season because of the remark- 
able personality of the star, John T. Raymond. The 
latter had not, up to this time, reached stellar dignity, 
but the way Stuart boomed the catch phrase of the play 
"There's millions in it" made Raymond the talk of New 
York; for many years after his road tours prospered. 

Another production of Stuart's, at the Park, was "The 
Mighty Dollar" by Ben Woolf of Boston. Here again 
was the play severely arraigned but the prestige of the 
Stars, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Florence, tided it over an entire 

56 jfottp gears 

season. The Florences made the financial success of 
their career with it, though their previous popularity was 
of far more dignified order, and their work in old come- 
dies truly worthy. Where have we to-day the equal of 
these two players? Who has replaced them or for that 
matter Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams? The Florences 
and the Williams were related, Mrs. Florence and Mrs. 
Williams being sisters.* 

Some people now alive will remember a very eventful 
night at this same Park Theatre under Mr. Stuart, the 
night when Ex-Mayor A. Oakey Hall of New York 
City, made his stage debut in a play called "The 
Crucible." Fifty dollars was paid for seats in any part 
of the house and excitement was so high that, at noon 
on the date of the opening performance, not a single seat 
was to be had at any price ; the evening witnessed a sad 
failure. The run was very short and a French opera 
bouffe company, headed by Coralie Geoffroy, gave New 
York its first taste of Chas. Lecocq's charming "Girofle 
Girofla." Who that ever saw them will forget those two 
eminent French comedians, Mezzieres and Duplan, who 
held old New York by their antics and excellent comedy 

French Opera Bouffe was by no means inaugurated at 
this period. 

It was H. L. Bateman, father of Kate Bateman, who 
first gave us the works of Jacques Offenbach and, in the 
late 6o's, New York raved over Emma Tostee in "La 
Grande Duchesse," at the old i4th Street Theatre. Jacob 
Grau, much impressed by Bateman's success, brought 
over a new Opera Bouffe Co., which included Rose Bell, 
Desclausas, Duchesne and the great Gabel, who, as the 

*Ben Woolf was an uncle of Edgar Allan Woolf, the author 
of "The Vampire," which recently was played at the Hackett 

of 6u0tc ana tfje Drama 57 

Gendarme in "Gene vie ve de Brabant," was the talk of 
the city for over 150 nights. 

This work, sung in a foreign language, packed the 
theatre at i4th Street and 6th Avenue. This theatre, on 
same site as that now managed by Mr. Rosenquest, was 
rebuilt by Jacob Grau in the form of an opera house, 
with tiers of boxes and the parquette thirty feet below 
the entrance floor. It was at this theatre that Adelaide 
Ristori, in 1866, made her American debut in "Medea," 
under Grau, who had been presenting grand opera at 
the old Academy of Music, with Mme. Gazzaniga as 
prima donna. The advent of Ristori was by far the most 
important theatrical event that New York City had ever 
witnessed, and words fail to describe the furore and eclat 
with which the greatest living actress of her time was 
received. Months before, Grau had posted her portraits 
and spread her biography broadcast, and at the opening 
of the advance sale a scene, heretofore unrecordable in 
the annals of the box office, took place. The night pre- 
ceding the opening of the box office, no less than one 
thousand persons had remained all night in line. 

The speculators of this period employed every avail- 
able messenger boy and society ladies were not too proud 
to storm the doors of the theatre. In less than five hours 
every seat and box, for the opening week, was disposed 
of, despite the fact that seats sold at $3.00 each. At 
length the night arrived and the great Italian tragedienne 
thrilled her audience by the magic of her art. 

Jacob Grau made a profit of over $150,000 on her first 
season alone. Maurice Grau, nephew of the impresario, 
sold books of the play, in the theatre, little dreaming that 
he was destined, not many years afterward, to be Ris- 
tori's manager in the very same house. 

Ristori was of course supported by an Italian com- 
pany; her repertoire included "Marie Stuart," "De* 

58 JFortp gears 2D&0ertoation 

borah," "Adrienne Lecouvreur" and "Marie Antoinette," 
the last the greatest success of all. A recollection of a 
Ristori matinee in this historical play revives memories 
of West 1 4th Street packed with women, at 10 A. M., 
all waiting for the privilege to purchase standing room. 

An idea of the great results of the Ristori venture may 
be had when it is stated that from the sale of the librettos 
alone the management made a profit of more than $1,300 
a week. Fifty cents was charged for each of these 
librettos and as there was no cost whatever to get them 
out, the result is not so surprising. 

In 1 86 1 Col. W. E. Sinn opened Canterbury Hall in 
Washington, D. C., in partnership with his brother-in- 
law, Leonard B. Grover; later he spent one year in Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio. 

In 1864 he undertook the management of the Chestnut 
Street Theatre in Philadelphia and after five seasons 
returned to Baltimore, to manage the Front Street 

After the Chicago fire, he leased the Globe Theatre 
there, but on February i, 1875, took the Park Theatre, 
Brooklyn, and remained in charge for a period of twenty 
years, until June, 1895. 

On September 16, 1895, he opened, with his son, 
Walter L. (died September 16, 1896,), the Montauk 
Theatre, Brooklyn, and ran it until his death on August 
9, 1899. 

Colonel Sinn was a typical manager of the old school 
which is exemplified to-day by few indeed. Leonard 
Grover still lives in Brooklyn and his two sons are active 
in the profession. Wm. T. Grover, the eldest, is now 
manager of the American Theatre for William Morris, 
and Leonard Grover, Jr., known also as Harry Little, has 
had a lengthy and varied career as comedian. 

The Frohmans, while they can not boast of theatrical 

of S@ti0ic anB tfie Drama 


ancestry, have certainly, as far as this generation is con- 
cerned, been the greatest factors that the stage has had. 

Thirty-eight years ago 
Daniel Frohman held a 
clerical position in the 
Tribune office on Park 
Row; Charles Frohman 
was then as now, irre- 
pressible, and the 
writer first recalls him 
at Lina Edwin's Thea- 
tre, which was located 
at 720 Broadway. He 
was then treasurer of 
Callender's Georgia 
Minstrels, a real and, until then, the only band of negro 
minstrels in this country. Gustav Frohman had been to 
England with their organization; very soon all three 
Frohmans were identified with minstrelsy. 

At the outset it looked as if it would be Gustav Froh- 
man who would become the Napoleon of theatricals. 
Gus. was the second eldest and had the earliest expe- 
rience. Daniel began to show, when in the twenties, that 
his career would be built on artistic lines ; for over thirty 
years he has indulged only in the most conservative 
ventures and has taken a vast interest in musical matters. 
Had Daniel Frohman so desired, he could, to-day, hold 
the director's chair at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

The Frohmans have had their vicissitudes all of them 
and it was not until the Mallory Brothers produced 
"Hazel Kirke" at the Madison Square Theatre that these 
born showmen began to be generally known. Gustav 
was the one to whom the others looked ; Charles, by leaps 
and bounds, came forward. I have not asked Charles 
Frohman his exact age, but, thirty odd years ago, as he 

60 jFortp gears 2P60ettoation 

marched along lower Broadway in the street parade of 
this minstrel company, he looked as he looks now, not so 
stout but of the same general appearance. 

About 1872 Col. J. H. Haverly, one of the most intrepid 
showmen this country has ever known, began to operate 
in the minstrel field and all three Frohmans became iden- 
tified with him. For several years, Haverly was accum- 
ulating theatres and companies until, about a quarter 
of a century ago, he had under his control a large per- 
centage of the theatrical business of the United States; 
the three Frohman Brothers were his most treasured 
lieutenants. Daniel however, soon laid out for himself 
the quiet and exalted career for which he was destined 
and with which even the public of this decade is familiar, 
but Charles had more than one serious set back before 
he began to replace the great Haverly. It was with 
"Shenandoah," a war play by Bronson Howard, that 
Charles Frohman made his first real money and at no 
time since the night he first produced this play, at what 
is now Proctor's 23d Street Theatre, has he ever failed in 
his forward march. The secret of his success has been, 
that, for forty years, almost every day of his life has be- 
longed to the public. He has always been strictly "on the 
job" and no man, in any business, is more considerate of 
his employees, and certainly none in the theatrical field 
is so beloved by the artists he has created. His word is 
always accepted in preference to a contract. 

A word concerning Charles Frohman's unique person- 
ality will surely be worth while. To recite what he has 
achieved would require a volume at least; even a bare 
statistical record of his activity is not possible in the 
confines of this one issue. Surely some writer will find a 
lucrative as well as potent subject, to give perpetuity to 
the achievements of the greatest theatrical personality the 
world has ever known ; one obstacle would confront such 

of fi@ii0ic anO tfie iDtama 6i 

an enterprise at the outset, Mr. Frohman's innate mod- 
esty. It has not been possible, up to the time when these 
lines are penned, to obtain a portrait of Charles Frohman 
and if that gentleman's inclinations were consulted or re- 
spected, a biographer would indeed be restricted to brev- 
ity ; but the records are all available and a history of the 
career of the youngest of the Frohmans is the history of 
the stage, in America, for the last thirty years. 

There is no luck or fate argument that will fit in his 
case. What he is to-day has been accomplished by un- 
paralleled effort. He has mapped out for himself a life of 
ceaseless toil; is virtually homeless, a man purposely 
without ties, who gets less out of life (if the pleasures of 
his labors alone be excepted) than any usher in one of his 

Charles Frohman was a power even before he produced 
"Shenandoah," his first great money making success; 
when he used to sit in his shirt sleeves, in his office over 
Daly's Theatre, as far back as twenty-five years ago, at a 
period when he perhaps was as "broke" as he is rich to- 
day, he had the respect, and the admiration of all about 
him. Even then he was the most central figure in the 
theatrical world; yet at that time he had one small pro- 
duction, a play called "The Wall Street Bandit" or some 
such title. 

Henry E. Abbey was in his zenith at this time. Even 
then, the extraordinary personality of the "little Napo- 
leon" was such that, in his outer offices, one would find 
a horde of men employed in the business department of 
the theatrical profession, only awaiting an opportunity to 
serve the little fellow, who was even then planning to 
become the leading spirit of the amusement world. 

Frohman smoked a lot of cigarettes in those days, 
cheap ones too, and he used to go to luncheon alone (it 
was not at Delmonico's) ; yet he was just as imposing a 

62 jFattp gears 2D&0ertratfcm 

figure, the same great factor that he is to-day. Surely 
then, to characterize his personality as unique, would 
appear justifiable. 

Al Hayman was, of course, a part of the Frohman 
policy. The two have always been inseparable and when 
Hayman came back here from Australia with a lot of real 
money, the problems that Charles Frohman was working 
at in that dingy little office in the Daly Building began to 
evolve. Frohman picked his winners with unfailing cor- 
rectness. At the outset these were Gillette, De Mille, 
Belasco, Bronson Howard and Paul M. Potter; Belasco, 
alone of these and many more, ever separated from him 
for any other reason than death. 

Here again the personality of the man is evidenced. 
It is not to be recalled where Charles Frohman ever lost 
a star, after he had agreed with one. The term "agreed" 
is used advisedly because few indeed of these ever had a 
contract with him. I have never heard any one speak of 
Charles Frohman's taking advantage of his own great 
power. He always paid good salaries, and in his nego- 
tiations with players, he has been known to be plaintive, 
never for an instant assuming that this actor or that 
actress would have to be with him, or else be a profes- 
sional outcast. 

The first important effort to create a trust or syndicate 
was made by Joseph Brooks, James B. Dickson, and 
Silvester M. Hickey, three well-schooled managers who 
had, individually, begun to attract attention, and who, 
collectively, brought out many of the more important 
productions and most notable stars in the 70*3 ; they failed 
as a firm with heavy liabilities just as Col. Haverly did. 

The men who to-day control the theatrical syndicate 
were, twenty-five years ago, by no means holding the 
center of the stage. Abraham L. Erlanger was an advance 
agent earning, as a rule, $150 per week when he was 

of Sgusfc anD tfie Drama 63 

employed ; he was not always engaged, nor was he identi- 
fied with the very best attractions. He was treasurer of 
"Uncle John" Ellsler's theatre in Cleveland, thirty years 

Marc Klaw was a newspaper man in Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, where his compensation certainly did not exceed 
$25 a week. \ 

Frederick Zimmerman, before he went to Philadelphia, 
was considered the best advance agent in the United 
States; even in 1869 and thereabouts he earned a salary 
of $150 a week from Parepa Rosa and other important 
attractions of that period. He was treasurer of the old 
Olympic in New York, under Leonard Grover. 

When Geo. K. Goodwin, the owner of the Chestnut 
Street Opera House died, in 1882, Nixon and Zimmerman 
entered partnership. These two men have grown up in 
the city of Philadelphia, with the city itself, and are now 
among the richest men in the business department of the 

Frank McKee was a lithograph man ; he traveled with 
the advance agent of Haverly's Minstrels and with 
various circuses and put out the lithographs in windows 
at a salary of perhaps $25 a week. He did not remain 
long in such a lowly position; his rise and progress were 
quick and constant until Charles Hoyt (who made fame 
and fortune writing plays of the "Tin Soldier" and "A 
Trip to Chinatown" order) and McKee came together. 
He was Hoyt's right hand man until the death of Hoyt's 
partner, Charles Thomas, when he became a full partner 
with Hoyt and rich as well. 

William Harris of Rich and Harris was, thirty-five 
years ago, a member of the song and dance team, Harris 
and Carroll, and one of the best and the highest salaried 
in the world. Early in the yo's he began to show unique 
qualifications for the business end of theatricals. Every- 

64 jFottp gears 2D00ertmtion 

thing he touched or, for that matter, touches to-day turns 
to gold. By the recent death of his partner, Isaac Rich, 
his interests have increased and, as he has bought some of 
Al Hayman's holdings in Western theatrical property, he, 
to-day, is one of a half dozen men who virtually are 
monarchs of all they survey. Harris has always figured 
extensively in Boston's theatrical history. He managed 
the Howard Athenaeum there for many years and, in 
conjunction with Rich, the Hollis Street Theatre, dur- 
ing its entire existence. At present he is interested in 
at least five of "The Hub's" foremost theatres; and is 
Charles Frohman's partner in the Garrick and Criterion 
theatres in this city. 

Al Hayman, undoubtedly the richest manager in 
America if not in the world, is not a very great factor, 
from either a statistical or even a recording point of view ; 
he leaves the conduct of his enormous interests in the 
hands of Mr. Erlanger. 

It will of course be interesting to record the first 
growth of Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger and how they 
developed the great institution which has made them- 
selves and their associates, millionaires, and broadened 
the field of their endeavors from the obscure barn- 
storming era of 1870-75 to the present exalted and digni- 
fied discipline with which all of their enterprises are 

The Rialto at this period was Union Square, and not 
half a dozen managers in the country had reached the 
dignity of having an office for the conduct of their busi- 
ness affairs ; it was no uncommon sight in those days to 
behold the most important managers and actors parading 
the pavement around the Morton House with date books 
in their hands, transacting their business on the street. 
There was not even a booking office in the city worthy of 
the name, although desultory efforts in this direction had 

of SgJiisic anfl tfte Drama 65 

been attempted in a small way, until Hal Sleeper Taylor 
established the first Exchange, in East i4th Street, that 
this country had known. Here, offices were partitioned 
off for the out of town managers who, in the summer, 
came to the city to make their engagements for the fall 
and winter season. Taylor, from the very outset, was 
successful and began to revolutionize the methods then 
in vogue until other offices were established, one con- 
ducted by Charles Frohman and W. W. Randall, aided by 
Julius Cahn. The latter has continued in this field until 
to-day, he represents over two hundred of the smaller 
city theatres and is a very rich man as the result of the 
stability and permanency which has characterized his 
business principles. The "J ulius Cahn Guide" evolved by 
him, has been a most useful and decidedly necessary aid 
to the furtherance of system in the booking of tours. 

But to return to Taylor; he soon arrived at the stage 
which has been the downfall of so many. Not being 
satisfied with the enormous earnings which were his 
through acting as the New York representative of so 
many theatres and companies, he began to branch out for 
himself. The losses on his personal venture soon over- 
reached the profits, and thus it was that Messrs. Klaw 
and Erlanger, about twenty-five years ago, succeeded 
him, taking possession of a building in West 28th Street, 
and, by dint of hard work and business-like methods, 
began at once to establish a clearing house for practically 
the entire theatrical business of the country. A few years 
later, because of the tremendous growth in their business, 
they were compelled to seek larger and more central 
quarters. Thus the Rialto was moved up to West soth 
Street, and, later, to West 34th Street, where they pro- 
cured an entire large building, which became a veritable 
bee hive; more than one hundred managers had small 
offices and desk room, where virtually the entire amuse- 


jFortp gears a>&0ertmtfon 

ment world was represented. Here it became possible 
for a local or traveling manager to book an entire season 
in a single day; the result has, of course, added to the 
constructive side of the business itself. 

Gross receipts of $6,000 in a single week in those years 
was considered out of the ordinary, and few ever reached 
this total. Whereas to-day, attractions of a similar calibre 
and standing, can and do, play to receipts totalling from 
$12,000 to $18,000 in a week. 

The following is a complete listing of the opening of 
each and all attractions in which Klaw and Erlanger were 
interested from Sept., 1896, to date: 

Name of Attraction. Date of Opening. City. 

The Lady Slavey Sept. 5, 1896 Boston. 

Brownies Sept. 14, 1896 Brooklyn. 

Jack & Beanstalk Oct. 26,1896 New Haven. 

Gay New York Sept. 7, 1896 Pittsburg. 

Chevallier Sept. 3, 1896 Poughkeepsie. 

Nordica Tour Dec. 28, 1896 Springfield. 

Bride Elect Dec. 28, 1897 New Haven. 

Whirl of Town Sept. 27, 1897 Philadelphia. 

Wandering Minstrel Sept. 17, 1897 Hartford. 

Ward of France Oct. 14,1897 Scranton. 

Round of Pleasure May 20, 1897 New Haven. 

The Christian Sept. 23, 1898 Albany. 

Bostonians, Robin Hood, &c. .. Sept. n, 1899 Troy. 

Chris & Lamp Oct. 23, 1899 New Haven. 

Ada Rehan Mar. 12, 1900 Baltimore. 

Blanch Walsh Oct. i, 1900 Montreal. 

Macklyn Arbuckle Marsac Co. . Nov. 5, 1900 Washington. 

The Toreador Dec. 30, 1901 Washington. 

Liberty Bells Sept. 7, 1901 Philadelphia. 

Messenger Boy Sept. 12, 1901 New Haven. 

Janice Meredith Sept. 27, 1901 Stamford. 

Merchant of Venice May 16, 1901 

Martin Harvey Rep Oct. 20, 1902 New York. 

Huckleberry Finn Nov. 10, 1902 Hartford. 

Dodson Irish American Inva- 
sion Oct. 6, 1902 Baltimore, 

of 6ti0ic anD tfje Drama 

John Henry 

May 14, 1903 New Haven. 

Foxy Quiller 

Oct. 17, 1900 New Haven. 


Oct. 15, 1901 New Haven. 

Japanese Nightingale 

Nov. 19, 1903 New York. 

Mid-Summer Night's Dream . . . 

Oct. 26, 1903 New York. 

In Newport 

Dec. 24, 1904 New Haven. 

Prodigal Son 

Sept. 2, 1905 Washington. 

Stoops to Conquer 

April 17, 1905 New York. 


Oct. 30, 1905 New York. 

Duchess of Dantzic 

Feb. 6, 1905 New York. 

Two Orphans 

Mar. 28, 1904 New York. 

Beauty & Beast 

Nov. 4, 1901 New York. 

Blue Beard 

Jan. 21, 1903 New York. 

Mother Goose 

Dec. 2, 1903 New York. 

Humpty Dumpty 

Nov. 14, 1904 New York. 

White Cat 

Nov. 2, 1905 New York. 

Pearl and Pumpkin 

July 17, 1905 Boston. 

Ben Hur 

Nov. 29, 1899 New York. 

Prince of India 

Feb. 5, 1906 Chicago. 

Home Folks 

Dec. 12, 1904 Philadelphia. 

Robertson & Elliot Rep 

Sept. 28, 1903 Buffalo. 

Marriage of Reason 

Jan. 25, 1907 Hartford. 

In Tammany Hall 

Sept. 21, 1905 Rochester. 

Free Lance 

Mar. 26, 1906 Springfield. 

Aero Club ) / ,- 
Lola from Berlin, { Glaser Co. . 

Sept. 5, 1907 Springfield. 
Aug. 22, 1907 New York. 

Spring Chicken 

Sept. 13, 1906 Rochester. 

Ham Tree 

Aug. 17, 1905 Rochester. 

Barbara's Millions ) 
Butterfly. . . , , , > Russell Co. 
Wild Fire ) 

Sept. 13, 1906 Grand Rapids. 
Dec. 21, 1906 Atlantic City. 
Sept. 30, 1907 Cincinnati. 

45 Minutes from Broadway.... 

Sept. 25, 1905 Columbus. 

Round Up 

April 15, 1907 Chicago. 

Grand Mogul 

Nov. 19, 1906 Rochester. 

Galileans Victory 

Sept. 23, 1907 Rochester. 

Follies of 1907 

July 8, 1907 New York. 

Follies of 1908 

June 8, 1908 Atlantic City. 

Right of Way , 

Oct. 7, 1907 Montreal. 

Little Nemo 

Sept. 28, 1908 Philadelphia. 

Kentucky Boy 

Nov. 19, 1908 Atlantic City. 

Rogers Bros. Reign of Error 

Sept. 5, 1898 New Haven. 

Rogers Bros. In Wall St 

Aug. 31, 1899 New Haven. 

68 jfottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

Rogers Bros. In Central Park . . f Aug. 30, 1900 Atlantic City. 
Rogers Bros. In Washington.. Aug. 19, 1901 Buffalo. 

Rogers Bros. In Harvard Aug. 25, 1902 Buffalo. 

Rogers Bros. In London Aug. 31, 1903 Buffalo. 

Rogers Bros. In Paris Aug. 29, 1904 Buffalo. 

Rogers Bros. In Ireland Aug. 24, 1905 Rochester. 

Mary Mannering, Janice Mere- 
dith Oct. i, 1900 Buffalo. 

NOTE: Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger have also been inter- 
ested, financially, in the following recent productions: 

The Soul Kiss. 

The Waltz Dream. 

Lifting the Lid. 

The New Lady Bantock. 

Caesar and Cleopatra. 

Sweet Nell of Old Drury. 

A Little of Everything. 

Cousin Louisa. 

As for Grand Opera, $3,000 a night was usually about 
the limit even when a Nilsson or a Lucca was the star, 
while on nights when these singers did not appear it 
would be impossible to give seats away. Of course rare 
exceptions were occasionally noted, such as Adelina Patti 
who, at all times in her unexampled career, was able to 
command a $10,000 house in this city, and very little less 
anywhere else. 

Thirty and even forty years ago the public loved to 
worship at the shrine of a great name, just as they do 
now, in preference to hearing a perfect ensemble, and 
Theodore Wachtel the German tenor was just as great a 
favorite in those days as Caruso is now; opera was then 
given with two stars at the most. Whereas now the 
weekly expenses of an opera house are close to $40,000. 
Yet the receipts are $10,000 in excess of the expenses as 
a rule. 

The spectacle of two opera houses in this city with 
great stars at their head is not at all as novel and unheard 

of fitm r c anD tfie Drama 69 

of as would appear. In the 70*3, when Max Strakosch was 
presenting Christine Nilsson, Campanini, Capoul and 
Maurel at the old Academy of Music on i4th Street, the 
veteran Max Maretzek was campaigning at the Grand 
Opera House on 236. Street and 8th Avenue where James 
Fisk, Jr., a colonel of the yth Regiment had a palatial 
theatre, a plaything for himself and his friends. Here 
Maretzek presented Pauline Lucca and the great Spanish 
tenor, Tamberlik. Of course one of the two was sure to 
fail, if not both; while neither made a profit it was 
Maretzek who met disaster. 

In those strenuous times the ticket speculator while 
not as numerous or as noisy as to-day, was nevertheless 
a factor, and more than one manager was wont to go to 
these gentry for help. In fact, old Fred Rullman, in the 
sixties and even in the seventies, financed nearly every 
great undertaking in music and the drama; he held a 
mortgage over the head of practically every impresario 
for two decades. 

George Tyson, the hotel ticket agent, up to the time of 
his death, was needed by opera managers and even 
theatrical men of the present day, and it is seriously to be 
doubted if, up to a few years ago, it was possible to bring 
any great foreign attraction to America without his help. 
It must be said for him that while he was of a strictly 
business nature, his help was often spontaneous, and ben- 
eficial always. 

Marc Klaw, as stated, is a product of Louisville, Ky., 
where he was on the staff of the Commercial before he 
entered theatricals as dramatic editor; it was through 
his ability as a press agent, that he first attracted atten- 
tion, and well it was for him that he became affiliated 
with Abraham Erlanger. 

This is not stated in the slightest depreciation of Mr. 
Klaw. Was it not fortunate that, perhaps the best "news- 

TO jfortp gears 2D&$ertoation 

paper man" the business department of the stage could 
boast of, should become the partner of another versed in 
the very intricate mazes of theatrical management itself? 

These men progressed miraculously as any one who 
knows what it is to receive a commission from every 
theatre in America will testify ; but it wasn't all luck by 
any means. Others had failed, Abbey, Haverly, Brooks 
and Dickson and Leavitt for instance, but Erlanger built 
up and Klaw looked after the vast business. It is of com- 
paratively recent date that Klaw and Erlanger had many 
important attractions. In fact, it is not so long ago that 
their holdings were principally such material as "Del- 
monico's At Six," "The County Fair" and "The Prodigal 
Father." The firm is of decidedly recent growth and its 
great importance comes from its representation of the 
majority of the best theatres of the country, and their 
fortune has principally been so created. 

Harry C. Miner was an advance agent of the $150 a 
week class and I have seen him go out in a suit of over- 
alls, with a bucket of paste, to post bills many a time, and 
Fred Zimmerman, too, the popular manager of the many 
theatres in Philadelphia and elsewhere. 

In the 6o's and even in the 70*8 an advance agent did 
it all. He routed his company, designed the printing and 
ordered it, did the press work as well, in fact he did all 
except travel behind with the company and count up. 
Small wonder that he was well paid. More than one 
manager used to "go ahead" of his own attraction, argu- 
ing that he would save more money by replacing a 
stupid agent than a dishonest treasurer could steal in 
the rear with the attraction itself. 

To-day there are a few men in the business department, 
who could serve the requirements as then existent. Hollis 
E. Cooley is one of these and he also has been occupying 
a position of this kind for many years. Mr. Cooley has 


u s 

. >>, 

PQ **> 

of 9u0ic anD t&e Drama 

been holding very important positions of late because of 
the service he has given on the road. At present he is 
the Secretary of the National Association of Theatrical 
Producing Managers.* 

I have observed with much interest the modern busi- 
ness man of the theatre (the employed and salaried man 
is here meant), and the observation has not yielded 
brilliant results. There are, indeed, men of letters now 
devoting their accomplishments to the amusement field 
and the establishment of colossal amusement enterprises 
such as the Hippodrome. The various Grand Opera 
companies and the New Theatre has brought a market for 
intelligent endeavor, but men such as John R. Rogers 
was a quarter of a century ago, I can see none yes, per- 
haps one, and a veritable "dark horse," too for I have 
looked on with amazement at the exploitation of the 
beautiful diver, Annette Kellermann. The methods 
which have been used in the past year to bring this re- 
markable woman conspicuously before the public have 
not been paralleled in the period allotted to me for ob- 
servation. Who, indeed, is responsible for all this per- 
sistent, never-ending sounding of the Kellermann trum- 
pets? A mere boy unknown, too, at that James R. 
Sullivan is his name, and he has made not only the 
United Booking Syndicate and the William Morris Cor- 
poration sit up and take notice, but he has invested his 
star and her business affairs with a certain style of sen- 
sationalism that has kept the journalistic world on the 
qui vive for developments. Sullivan is but twenty-four 
years of age and hails from the West. He began, too, 
in the way that would provide him with the best expe- 
rience, roughing it in the Chicago district and under- 
going in his boyhood days severe hardships as one of a 

*Mr. Cooley resigned in June, 1909. H. B. Harris succeeded 

72 jfortp gears 2D60ertmtiott 

band of barnstormers. His rise is due solely to faithful 
application to the business in hand, and he has at no 
time sought publicity for himself. He was engaged by 
Miss Kellermann's parents to assist in the management 
of the diver, and upon the death of her father the re- 
sponsibility entailed upon him solely. The writer has 
not up to the time these lines are written come in con- 
tact personally with him, but the manner in which Miss 
Kellermann has in a single year become the foremost 
feature of the vaudeville stage has been so unique as to 
cause me to penetrate into the causes which have made 
such a remarkable state of affairs possible. This man 
Sullivan will bear watching. His career will not end 
with the exploitation of Annette Kellermann. He has 
left his mark wherever he has presented himself, and he 
has also been proven the equal of the most expert busi- 
ness men whom he has encountered. In these days of 
progress a single year means much to a man of this de- 
scription. He is of the stock from which such men as 
Lee Shubert, Morris Gest and Frederick Thompson have 
emanated. It will be interesting indeed to note the next 
"cause celebre" in which Sullivan and his methods will 

Victor Moore who has been in the public eye so con- 
spicuously in recent years, and who at this time is one 
of the most successful stars on the American stage began 
to be heard of five or six years ago. He somehow got 
hold of a sketch which I think was written by Edward 
McWade called "Change Your Act." Moore had as co- 
star, Miss Julia Blanc, an excellent actress too, and they 
had just as hard a time to get this vehicle placed in the 
Vaudeville Theatres as most worthy plays now have; 
$125 a week was the remuneration the act received. The 
hit was accomplished through Moore's unique person- 
ality, here indeed was something new in the way of 
character. It should be observed here that Victor Moore 

of 9@u$ic attD t&e Drama 

has prospered no less because of his uniform temperament 
and his attitude towards his managers. After Moore had 
become a powerful attraction and an established drawing 
card in the best theatres, and Klaw and Erlanger had 
engaged in a Vaudeville war with the Keith interests, 
when the fight was at its bitterest, he was asked by the 
great firm of managers if he would help out by going on 
with his old "turn" for a week at the Chestnut Street 
Theatre, and he came forward with so much alacrity that 
it was an incentive to others to go and do likewise. As 
a result the "War" was ended and no later because of 
this loyalty, and when one speaks of loyalty it is but fair 
to state that the so-called "Theatrical Syndicate" is by 
no means found wanting. There is no instance where 
any of the many managers affiliated with Messrs. Klaw, 
Erlanger and Hayman were ever intruded upon in their 
rights and not once has it been recorded that a theatre 
would be built in any city to compete with one already 
under "Syndicate" control, at least, not without the con- 
sent of those who at the outset had the faith in these men 
to properly represent and guide them, and it is to this 
loyal spirit, as much as anything that the great structure 
of theatrical discipline owes its creation and permanence. 
Not once has there been a break in its ranks, and with all 
the machinations and intrigues which the Vaudeville 
Managers practised with intent to reduce the holdings 
and prestige of the older concern it was not found possible 
in a single instance to cause the slightest upheaval or 
disloyalty. Mr. Erlanger in a brilliant coup and in a 
single conference was able to bring into his fold a large 
majority of the theatres controlled by the Messrs. Shubert 
and as a final result, the competition so fiercely conducted 
between the two important institutions of the theatrical 
business has come to an absolute halt.* 

*While these pages have been in press, the relations between 
Klaw and Erlanger and the Shuberts have become more strained. 

jfortp gears Dtoettmtion 

The late Maurice Grau was the first impresario to die, 
leaving enough to pay his funeral expenses. While he 
left a fortune of a half million dollars, it must not be 
forgotten that he was not only a wizard of singers but a 
wizard of the ticker one of which instruments was always 
in his offices. The manner in which he juggled stocks and 
prima donnas is well known to the few intimates who 
enjoyed his confidence. Grau's two partners in the firm 
of Abbey, Schoeffel and Grau were absolutely "all in" at 
the time when the great firm failed. Grau, like Oscar 
Hammerstein, made all of his great fortune after the age 
of 50 had been reached. In this connection the writer 
observes that no business in commerce or, for that matter 
in any of the trades, offers the chance for recuperation 
that the theatrical field does ; a manager, like a cat, seems 
to have nine lives. 

Henry E. Abbey, like Col. Haverly, at one time held 
the reigns of majestic enterprises in his hands ; for a long 
period his luck was phenomenal. At all times his under- 
takings were characterized by the daring for which he 
was famous. Abbey made fortunes with Patti, Bern- 
hardt, Irving and Mary Anderson, but in an evil hour he 
entered the operatic field and in one season, the first, at 
the Metropolitan Opera House, his losses amounted to a 
quarter of a million dollars. Just before his death he 
made a herculean effort to recoup, aided, too, by his many 
creditors, but it was too late, for, broken in health and 
with domestic and business troubles weighing deeply on 
his already enfeebled system, he died as poor as the day 
he was born. The world will never look upon his like 
again; the field of the theatre and opera is better for the 
reason that he labored in it. May his soul rest in peace. 

Samuel Colville, from 1865 until 1885, was one of the 
most successful of the old-school managers. He it was 

of 90U0IC ana tfte Drama 75 

who brought over Lydia Thompson and her famous 
troupe of "British Blondes," and all of his tours with this 
organization were phenomenally successful. He after- 
wards brought over Julia Matthews and an English com- 
pany, but the financial results were not inspiring and he 
decided to organize an American company on the lines of 
the Lydia Thompson Company, called the Colville Folly 
Company. As Lydia Thompson had given the public a 
really great organization including Miss Eliza Weath- 
ersby, Harry Beckett, Pauline Markham and others 
equally as good, it was not to be expected that the elimin- 
ation of all these celebrities would meet with public 
approval; therefore, Colville began to add, from time to 
time, to the English stars, one of whom was Miss Erne 
Roseau whom Colville afterward married. Mrs. Colville 
is to this day the lessee of the i4th Street Theatre which 
Colville left her, and which he managed for a long time 
before his demise. 

The theatre on Union Square, now devoted to moving 
pictures, was a vaudeville theatre away back in the 6o's, 
managed by "Bob" Butler; here were seen all the 
celebrities of the variety stage. I recall Jenny Engle, a 
serio-comic who held sway then; she did not receive 
$2,500 a week as does Vesta Victoria now, nor did she 
or anyone else receive one-tenth of that sum, although 
the bills included Wm. Horace Lingard, Alice Dunning, 
Gus Williams, Sheridan and Mack, Delhanty and Hengler 
and others. Tom Hengler would rest in his grave com- 
fortably if he only knew that his two babies, the Hengler 
Sisters, are now earning $400 and even $500 a week. 

Jenny Kimball, the mother, by adoption, of Corinne 
was also a Union Square favorite ; Ed Harrigan and Tony 
Hart, before they went with Josh Hart to the Theatre 
Comique at 514 Broadway, were also seen at this house. 

76 jfortg gears ffl>&0ertmtiott 

Sheridan Shook, a politician and man of means, asso- 
ciated with Albert M. Palmer, took hold of the Union 
Square Theatre after Butler's career there ended. Under 
Mr. Palmer's painstaking care a stock company such as 
New York has not seen duplicated since, inaugurated an 
extended term, presenting such plays as "Led Astray," 
"Rose Michel," "The Two Orphans," "The Danicheffs," 
"The Lights o' London" and many other famous plays. 
These were interpreted by a company which included 
Clara Morris, Rose Eytinge, Kate Claxton, Agnes Booth, 
Ida Vernon, Sara Jewett, Charles R. Thorne, John Par- 
selle, McKee Rankin, F. F. Mackay, Louis James, James 
O'Neil and Mrs. Maria Wilkins; yet Palmer was com- 
pelled, by reason of his artistic taste, to see the venture 
finally end in a loss. In the evening of his life, he was in 
the employ of the late Richard Mansfield, being one of 
the many who endeavored to "manage" that great actor's 

The men who managed provincial theatres twenty-five 
years ago and for twenty-five years before that, were 
something more than the janitors that in these days are 
required for this purpose; nearly all of the more impor- 
tant ones were actor-managers who had reached the top 
after a slow grinding struggle. J. H. McVickar was of 
this type and he was indeed worthy the name of manager. 
He was the father-in-law of Edwin Booth, and all his sons 
and daughters were stage workers. His theatre in Chi- 
cago was a model one, its owner and builder directing its 
affairs. Other managers of this type were : Col. Wm. E. 
Sinn, who for long periods managed theatres in Balti- 
more and Brooklyn, also Tom Davey who had the theatre 
in Memphis and afterwards the Detroit Opera House. 
He was an actor of the old school and the father of 
Minnie Maddern (now Mrs. Fiske) and it is through in- 
heritance that Minnie comes by her remarkable talent. 

of S@u0tc and tfie Drama ?r 

The discipline which, to-day, is noted in all of her pro- 
ductions is entirely due to her father's training and 

Associated with Tom Davey was Joseph Brooks now 
closely connected with Klaw & Erlanger, and himself one 
of the most extensive and successful producers of the 
present time. 

Brooks, though, has had his ups and downs and when, 
twenty-five years ago, he and his partners tried to control 
the theatrical business of the country, he met with the 
same fate that Henry E. Abbey did ; but he had the luck 
to get away from this catastrophe with his health. He 
was able to build up again and, no doubt, he is well satis- 
fied with what he has achieved even though it took him 
twenty-five years longer to do it than he first thought. 

The firm of Sam S. and Lee Shubert to-day is, perhaps, 
the second in importance in the world, if indeed it is not 
actually the one having the greatest total holdings of 
theatrical and stage property. When the number of 
theatres and companies, directly controlled by the Shu- 
berts, is computed, it must be maintained that they are 
the most extensive providers for the amusement world in 
this country, or any other country for that matter. Yet 
what a beginning had these two unassuming boys of 
Syracuse, N. Y., and how recent is their uprising! 

Twelve years ago, little Sam Shubert, who had been 
plying every possible vocation of the streets that a youth 
could indulge in, obtained employment in the Grand 
Opera House in that city, and by dint of energy and 
great persistency immediately began to indulge in specu- 
lative ventures on his own account. His first important 
undertaking was when he secured from George W. 
Lederer territorial rights for "The Belle of New York" 
which, because of the fact that Edna May, its original 

78 JFortg gears SD60ertoatton 

representative, was a Syracuse girl, attracted vast atten- 
tion in that city. Shubert prospered from the start and 
one of his earliest schemes was to place stock companies 
in all of the available theatres in New York State ; he also 
had the rights for several New York successes. Within 
a year he held the lease on four of the best money making 
theatres betwen Albany and Buffalo. 

Then his brothers Lee and J. J. Shubert joined him, and 
the three began to operate with that precision which was 
destined to place them, in a few years, in the very front 
rank of managerial factors. Sam Shubert was frail, small 
and insignificant in appearance; he did not weigh over 
ninety pounds, but he was an electric battery when set in 
motion, a veritable bundle of nerves, and his marvelous 
energy attracted the attention of several gentlemen in the 
mercantile line who were glad of the opportunity to invest 
their capital with so competent and pushing a manipu- 
lator. "On to New York" was the Shubert slogan and 
one fine morning Sam Shubert came to the metropolis, 
and astonished the natives by leasing the Herald Square 
Theatre for a term of years ; thus was laid the foundation 
of the career of a firm which, to-day, controls twelve first 
class theatres in Manhattan, including The Hippodrome, 
in itself a tremendous undertaking which they have made 
immensely profitable, also the New National Theatre, 
Central Park West, which Lee Shubert is to head. In 
addition they hold the lease of about thirty theatres of 
importance outside of New York, one in London, and are 
the sole and exclusive managers of no less than thirty 
stars and combinations of the highest calibre including 
such well known celebrities as Mr. Sothern, Miss Mar- 
lowe and Mme. Nazimova. A few years ago when they 
brought Sarah Bernhardt to this country for one of her 
many "farewell" tours they handled the venture so 



Stars of the jo's. Miss Palmer alone of this group survives. 

of Su0ic ana tfie Drama 79 

adroitly that the profits were the largest ever recorded in 
a single season for any amusement enterprise in the his- 
tory of the world. It was on this notable tour that Sarah, 
being supposedly barred by the so-called Theatrical 
Syndicate from their theatres, was put to the severe 
necessity of appearing in tents, armories, and Convention 
Halls. The most recent additions to the list of New 
York theatres booked by the Messrs. Shubert are the 
New Comedy Theatre, The Maxine Elliott Theatre, also 
the Yorkville and Metropolis Theatres, now to be con- 
ducted on the same plan already successful at the West 

The Shuberts, until about a year ago, were directly 
opposed, in all their operations, to the Theatrical Syndi- 
cate or rather to the firm of Klaw and Erlanger and their 
associates, but in the great "Vaudeville war" of last year, 
after notable conferences, they entered into a contract by 
which the majority of their theatres outside of this city 
were turned over to a new corporation called The United 
States Amusement Co. Through this procedure the two 
great powers that had been arrayed against each other 
for so long a time became one vast, peaceable whole ; and 
the independent forces of the stage as far as the legitimate 
theatre is concerned are now confined to Mr. Belasco and 
Mr. Fiske, two intrepid and non-yielding personages who 
do not seem to be "in the wet" by reason of this changed 
state of affairs.* 

*On April 30, 1909, it was announced that after several con- 
ferences between Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger, Mr. David Belasco 
and Mr. Harrison Grey Fiske, an understanding was reached 
whereby Messrs. Fiske and Belasco, without affecting their in- 
dependence, were offered the booking privileges of the theatres 
controlled by Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger. No agreements were 
signed, no conditions were required, and no abridgement of the 

so jfottg gears 2D60ertmtion 

The death of Sam Shubert at Harrisburg in a shocking 
railroad accident, which startled the theatrical world a 
few years ago has not materially changed the status of 
the Shubert firm, except that Lee and J. J. Shubert took 
the lead, and by vigorous application and extraordinary 
business tactics have caused the operations originally 
conceived by their deceased brother to expand until it has 
reached its present enormous proportions. It is but fair 
to state, though, that the aid received from the general 
manager of the Shubert attractions, Mr, J. W. Jacobs, 
has greatly facilitated the progress effected.* 

In the theatrical business like any other perhaps there 
are strongly marked characters. Among the many person- 
alities who follow this calling was Mr. Jake Tanenn- 
baum, a good wholesouled Teutonic gentleman who 
for nearly half a century has managed theatres 
in the South, principally in Mobile and Montgomery, 
Alabama. At one time before the formation of the sys- 
tematic booking facilities Jake was reputed as having 
"The Key to the South'* which meant, theatrically speak- 
ing, that in order for a company to obtain bookings in 
the theatres south of Richmond, Va., it was necessary to 
see Mr. Tanennbaum. The writer has spoken of this 
gentleman's characteristics; one of these was a sense of 
humor which was strikingly illustrated on one occasion 
when a combination playing in Tanennbaum's Theatre at 

existing policy of the two producing managers were suggested 
or discussed. The arrangement comprehended an extension of 
the sphere of their activities and a widening of the scope of 
their independence. 

*The Shuberts activity in the past few months requires record. 
They have fifteen houses in Greater New York, while their out- 
of-town theatres and the number of their attractions have 
doubled. While these pages are in press, they have abandoned 
their London house. 

of Q5u0tc anD tfie Drama si 

Montgomery found the financial results of the engage- 
ment there so woeful that the manager of the company 
was unable to meet his obligations in the city, nor did he 
have sufficient funds to get his attraction to the next 
stand. He approached the credulous Tanennbaum and, 
explaining the nature of his predicament, pleaded for such 
financial assistance as would extricate himself and com- 
pany from the dilemma in which they were placed. Tan- 
ennbaum was not over cordial in his reception of the 
unfortunate showman's grievance and began to relate 
how he had aided others in similar positions only to lose 
his money, and their friendship as well. 

"But I give you my word of honor that I will return 
you the $50 which I need within thirty days if I am alive," 
said the company's manager, to which Tanennbaum 

"You mean to say then, that if I loan you $50, you will 
repay me within thirty days, if you are not dead?" 

"Yes," was the answer. 

So Tanennbaum advanced the money and the company 
went on its way to meet its engagement. The following 
summer as was his wont, the genial Tanennbaum ap- 
peared on the Rialto for the purpose of booking his attrac- 
tions for the following season. This time it was noticed 
that he was in very deep mourning, wearing crepe on 
his hat and appearing greatly depressed. This spectacle 
attracted so much attention among his friends that one 
of them accosted him and inquired as to the nature of the 

"A dear old friend of mine is dead," declared the South- 
ern manager. 

"Who," asked the friend ; and Tanennbaum mentioned 
the name of the manager whom he had befriended. 

"Why, I saw him only yesterday. He is alive and 
well," said the friend. 

82 jfortp gears 2D&0ertoation 

"Impossible," said Jake. "He told me in Montgomery 
he would be dead in thirty days if he did not return me 
$50 I loaned him, and he was a good fellow. I am in 
mourning for him." 

On another occasion a party of theatrical agents and 
managers were discussing matters in the amusement 
world with Mr. Tanennbaum. Finally an argument arose 
over the relative strength of John and Sydney Drew as 
box office attractions. Both the Drews had played in Mr. 
Tanennbaum's Mobile Theatre that season, with their 
respective companies. Upon being asked by one of the 
parties whether he had noticed much difference in the two 
stars' popularity, Tanennbaum thought for a few seconds 
and then he replied : 

"Difference, did you say. I should think there was a 
difference in Mobile! John Drew but Sydney didn't." 

As evidence that in the theatrical business a man has 
more opportunity to recuperate from disastrous failures, 
the particular case of J. B. Sparrow of Montreal, Canada, 
is here noted. 

Sparrow emigrated from Liverpool to Montreal thirty 
years ago, and, finding the city had no bill posting busi- 
ness to speak of, he established himself in that rather un- 
promising location. Montreal, three decades ago, was 
about as forsaken a city from an amusement standpoint 
as one would be likely to find. There was in this city of 
'150,000, at that period, two theatres, one the Theatre 
Royal and the Academy of Music. Sparrow now sought 
to find some reason for being a bill poster, so he, later on, 
secured a lease of the Theatre Royal, which is still stand- 
ing, the oldest theatre, to-day, in America. It was almost 
impossible for Sparrow to get any companies to visit 
Montreal and there were very few to be had for anywhere 
in those days. Sparrow got behind in his rent; at one 
time he was two years behind with his landlord, who, was 

of Sii0ic atiD tfje Drama ss 

a rich but very close Hebraic gentleman, named Josephs. 
Just as the latter was about to dispossess the broken 
manager, when all seemed to be lost, Sparrow was ap- 
proached by H. R. Jacobs, a showman on a small scale, 
at that time, who had been giving tent shows and running 
museums in large cities. 

Jacobs had accomplished the most remarkable feat of 
making money in Montreal and when he offered to buy 
a half interest in the Theatre Royal just as the unfor- 
tunate lessee was about to give up in despair Sparrow 
almost fainted. 

However, here was formed a partnership of Jacobs and 
Sparrow and as if by magic the tide turned. The Royal, 
at popular prices, under the Jacobs policy, became a veri- 
table mint. The firm branched out, taking on also the 
Academy of Music, and finally a third theatre which was 
newly built. Then Jacobs went to Albany, N. Y., and 
after making the same demonstration at what was then 
the Martin Opera House, he joined hands with Frederick 
F. Proctor, and thus was formed the great firm of Jacobs 
and Proctor, which, carrying out the Jacobs idea leased 
and managed no less than thirty theatres in which the 
scale of prices were 10, 20 and 30 cents. 

As soon as Sparrow had been relieved of his financial 
difficulties, and after he had increased his holdings to five 
theatres through Jacobs' great showmanship, it is to be 
regretted that a truthful record of the outcome must 
state that Jacobs was ousted and, while it is not for this 
writer to express opinions or to criticise, the general 
impression was that no more glaring case of disloyalty of 
one man to another has ever been given publicity. 

Jacobs although not as great a power to-day as he once 
was, is, nevertheless, successful and, in the city of Albany, 
has built up a fine business where he holds the lease in the 
one first class theatre there; he also has a theatre in 

84 jfottp gears 

Cohoes. Undoubtedly it is his wish to be comfortable 
and quiet in the evening of his life ; surely if he were so 
disposed he could have had another run for Napoleonism. 

Edward E. Rice, whose fame was originated through 
the production of his American comic opera "Evangeline," 
has had about as stormy a career as could be wished for, 
even by one who is desirous of justifying the adage that 
"you can't keep a good man down." Rice has given more 
people a chance to climb the ladder of fame than any 
one man in the theatrical calling, and the list of now 
famous stars who got their first boost from this hustling 
manager is so long, and has so often been published, that 
its repetition here would be superfluous. 

While "Evangeline" was by far the most prominent of 
Rice's compositions, his reputation does not by any means 
rest there, and it is doubtful if the work he did in 
"Horrors," "Revels," "Hiawatha," "Excelsior, Jr.," and 
"Conrad the Corsair" was not just as efficient and, in the 
case of "The Corsair," a revival at any time would be 
propitious, for surely the type of musical comedy now 
seen on Broadway stages is not to be compared with this 
delicious morceau. 

Rice was not a musician from a theoretical point of 
view, and it is doubtful if he could write his own scores, 
but he was a genius at the piano and he could whistle off 
the most original and entrancing gems; it was in this 
manner that he composed the wholly delicious score of 
"Evangeline." Although in recent years Mr. Rice has not 
been actively engaged in management, he is never idle, 
and is always to be found about "the Great White Way" 
where no surprise would be created if he were to "bob up" 
any day with some monster scheme for the amusement 
of the public. 

Very similar to the career of Mr. Rice was that of the 
late David Henderson, who had been for many years the 


of Cu0ic anD tfte Drama ss 

Dramatic Critic of the Chicago Tribune, but who in the 
late yo's leased the Chicago Opera House, one of the most 
beautiful and costly theatres which that city to-day 
affords. Henderson here exploited a policy wholly 
original and seemingly successful; his productions of 
"Alladin," "Blue Beard, Jr.," "The Arabian Nights" and 
"Sinbad the Sailor" have never been surpassed in this 
country at any period. 

The remarkable fact that these superb revivals of Fairy 
Tales dear to the hearts of the people, accomplished runs 
in excess of 100 performances, was sufficient to make the 
name of Henderson a strong factor throughout the coun- 
try. Henderson also leased the Duquesne Theatre in 
Pittsburgh, and sent out touring companies with his 
Chicago successes; it must, unfortunately, be stated that 
these tours were always unprofitable. Strange to state, 
New York City did not duplicate the Chicago record for 
any of Henderson's productions. 

In due time he was compelled, like so many others, to 
reduce his operations to a minimum. The last few years 
of his life were spent as the agent of the Equitable Life 
Insurance Company. Still he was always restless and 
even while in the employment of the insurance company 
he was wont to dabble in small snaps and affairs of the 
theatre, generally with disastrous results. Only a few 
months ago he breathed his last in Chicago having suc- 
cumbed, after a long period of suffering. 

Herr Heinrich Conried came to this country about 1875, 
and first appeared in the Germania Theatre on East I4th 
Street, and afterward at the Thalia Theatre on the 
Bowery. He had been successful in Germany and 
Austria; his reputation abroad had been gained by 
his artistic representation of the title role in "Doctor 
Klaus," which Sydney Rosenfeld afterward adapted and 
produced in English as "Dr. Clyde," with only moderate 

86 jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

results. Conried, however, scored tremendously in this 
character which was a sort of German Josh Whitcomb. 
There can be no question as to the influence which Herr 
Conried gave to the German Theatre of which he was the 
leading spirit, as stage director, artist, and as business 
executive. He soon raised the plane of the heretofore 
doubtful standard which his predecessors had established ; 
then he changed the policy from comedies and dramas to 
operetta and had no difficulty in attracting the better class 
of American theatregoers to his excellent performances. 

Conried, in an evil or rather untimely period, decided to 
enter the comic opera field, as opposed to Colonel Me- 
Caull and Rudolph Aronson who were then the important 
providers of light opera in English, and particularly with 
a production of "The King's Fool/ which was one of the 
last attractions to be seen at Niblo's Garden before it was 
torn down. It attracted vast attention by the marvelous 
mise-en-scene, and the superb ensemble which New York 
had not been accustomed to up to that time. 

Comic opera spelled ruin in those days and the redoubt- 
able German director had many hard roads to travel in 
his effort to establish his company on a basis of profit. 
In fact it must be said he was not always able to meet his 
obligations and on more than one occasion the sheriff had 
business relations with the future director of the Metro- 
politan Opera House. 

Twenty-five years ago the operatic field was indeed a 
precarious one, and the dignity and regularity which to- 
day characterize the financial side of it, were wholly 
lacking. Some of the vicissitudes and trying experiences 
which befell a few of the comic opera impresarios of that 
time would read strangely to-day. One of these who, be- 
cause of his present rank shall be called "Mr. Blank," 
roughed it in the early 8o's to such an extent that one of 
his experiences should be related here. 

of 9@ii0ic anD ti)e Drama sr 

Mr. Blank had a company of about fifty members, in- 
cluding a chorus of thirty-four. At this time the company 
was presenting one of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, 
"lolanthe" by name. This opera converged on the in- 
fluence of fairies in politics, and the male roles and chorus 
represented high stationed peers and parliament mem- 
bers. The financial results of this tour through the New 
England cities became so serious that Mr. Blank was not 
only unable to pay the salaries of the company, but had 
the greatest difficulty in meeting the company's hotel 
bills. At length the troubles began to multiply so that 
it was necessary for him to resort to his wits; in this 
respect he was by no means wanting. Going toward the 
proprietor of the hotel in Bridgeport, Conn., just as he 
was about to attach the company's effects, Mr. Blank 

"I regret that we can not pay you what we owe, but 
why close us up and break up our tour; instead of your 
seizing our effects, loan them to us. Come on with us to 
New Haven, or send one of your clerks and we will pay 
you there all we owe you, also all your expenses." 

This plan seemed fair and was approved of by the hotel 
man and he went along to New Haven but, unfortunately, 
the business done at New Haven was so bad, that instead 
of being able to pay the hotel man from Bridgeport, there 
was not enough money left after paying local expenses to 
pay the hotel bills of New Haven itself. Here indeed was 
a dilemma, but Mr. Blank was equal to the precarious 
state of affairs. Thereupon he accosted the Bridgeport 
boniface : "My friend, I regret exceedingly to inform you 
that so far from being able to meet my promise to you I 
am even unable to pay the hotel bills here. Therefore I 
ask you as a matter of self-protection to explain this un- 
fortunate situation to the proprietor, and ask him to come 
along to Hartford, one of the best operatic towns in this 

88 jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

country ; here business will surely be large enough to ad- 
mit of paying the amounts due you and also the New 
Haven bill." 

If the reader of this record is inclined to express doubt 
as to the veracity of this recital as far as has been told, he 
had better read no further for he did not know Mr. Blank, 
and this writer did, and that's "the answer." The New 
Haven proprietor seeing that the only way he could ob- 
tain satisfaction would be to join his Bridgeport confrere, 
journeyed with him to Hartford, but Hartford was little 
or no better and soon the company reached Providence, 
R. I., carrying in their train no less than six hotel men 
and two railroad ticket agents, Mr. Blank having had to 
resort to this method to obtain transportation for his 
large organization. Once when Mr. Blank was asked why 
he did not close up his tour and end his worries, he 
replied: "Stop," did you say! I wish I could, but I 
can't. It is easier to get to the next town than to get this 
big company to New~York. There is some hope always 
to be aroused in "the next stand," but to return to the 
metropolis isn't easy and it's a good long walk." 

At Providence new troubles began to accumulate and 
in the morning on reaching the opera house he was waited 
upon by a delegation of members of the male chorus of 
his opera company, who informed him politely but very 
firmly that they had come to him most reluctantly, but, 
inasmuch as they saw no improvement in sight and that 
they had prospects in other quarters, they were compelled 
to notify him that if they did not receive the salaries due 
them, or at least a respectable portion thereof, they 
would, greatly against their will, be forced to refuse to 
appear that night. This was indeed the last straw, but 
Mr. Blank was up and doing. After the first shock sub- 
sided, he held a conference with himself, and then pro- 
ceeded to the hotel where the company was stopping. 

of 9@ii0ic anD t&e Drama 89 

Quietly, so as to attract no attention, he asked the pro- 
prietor of the hotel (the city hotel) if he would favor 
him with the use of a parlor or a large room with a piano 
in some restricted section of the hotel, to which the un- 
suspecting boniface at once yielded and then with the 
assistance of the bell boys of the hotel he collected the 
eight hotel men and ticket agents and securely locking 
them in the room addressed them in a manner worthy of 
a Bryan or Roscoe Conkling. Explaining his predica- 
ment, he appealed to these credulous and now astonished 
creditors of his and finally said : 

"You alone can save the day, you have all sat in front 
so many nights and witnessed the opera, and are quite 
familiar with it. Here is a piano ; in my hand I hold the 
score of "lolanthe" and as I can play the accompani- 
ment I can teach you sufficiently so that if my chorus 
does go out as threatened we can at least give a perform- 
ance, and not have to dismiss the audience, and perhaps, 
get stranded here, in the city of Providence, a place 
where, of all localities, I for one would not care to reside 
permanently." That night at about 8:15 absolutely un- 
known to the other members of the company, and to the 
utter consternation and amazement of the female chorus, 
who were then on the stage, on marched The Chorus of 
Hotel Landlords and those who were present and privil- 
eged to hear them sing that opening line "We are peers 
of high and lofty station," have surely never forgotten the 
spectacle. Of course the opera was "cut" and the first act 
was very much hurried, but Mr. Blank had triumphed ; in 
the second act the regular chorus, to a man, voluntarily 
offered to return and the opera was continued for the rest 
of the evening, as if no crisis had ever threatened. 

The news leaked out however and the press treated the 
matter in so humorous and lengthy a manner that the 
engagement which was for four nights and one matinee, 

90 jfottp gears D&sertoation 

was quite successful and at its close there was enough 
surplus, after paying all the expenses, to bring the tour 
to an honorable end. The entire organization was brought 
to the city, and Mr. Blank, nothing if not persevering, 
began organizing another company, which a little later 
he launched in a new opera and with the most satisfying 

Minstrelsy received its first really important impetus in 
this country early in the career of J. H. Haverly, who 
at all periods of his reign as a manager controlled minstrel 
bands. It was when he evolved the world-famed Masto- 
don Minstrels (40 Count them 40) that he attracted the 
vast interest and the enormous audiences which ever after 
were accorded to his enterprise. Haverly also was the 
first to put out a certain mastodonic type of lithographs 
and pictorial printing, and there can be no question as to 
the tremendous uplift he gave to Ministrelsy. In fact, 
the demonstration he made with the "Big Show" was 
quickly copied, and an effort was made, not only to 
emulate his methods, but by no less a rival than R. M. 
Hooley, the very father of the old school of minstrelsy. 
He put up a battle royal with Haverly, equipping a 
monster aggregation which he called "Hooley's Megath- 
erium Minstrels." 

Hooley when asked what a Megatherium signified, 
replied, "A Megatherium can swallow a Mastodon." 

For several months these two big bands played in oppo- 
sition to each other and declared war, while the agents of 
both were engaged in many pitched battles. Hooley had 
for his star the great and only Billy Emerson, and he also 

*The tale of Mr. Blank has served so often, and as a volume 
has just appeared which makes his exploit its basic subject, it 
becomes necessary for the author to reluctantly confess that he 
himself was Mr. Blank. 

of flpusfc anD tfte Drama 01 

had extraordinary designs for his lithographs and print- 
ing; Haverly easily survived, and until his death his 
Mastodon Minstrels served to finance many of his serious 
deficiencies in other quarters. 

But Haverly and Hooley were not the only showmen 
to enter this phase of minstrelsy. Michael B. Leavitt, 
then a veritable Napoleon himself, controlling the first 
chain of theatres to the Pacific Coast, and one of the most 
active workers of his generation, organized what he then 
called Leavitt's Gigantean Minstrels ; he was by no means 
an insignificant factor in the triumvirate of minstrel 
managers. Leavitt had really the largest and most ex- 
pensive band of the three, and he, too, had a virtual circus 
method, having four agents in advance, and no less than 
sixty different kinds of lithographs. But it can be truth- 
fully said that, aside from Haverly, Leavitt alone of these 
rivals made any profit. 

M. B. Leavitt who is alive to-day and to be seen on 
the Great White Way any day, looking like a typical 
youngster, with a fast gait and optimistic mien, was really 
making history at a rapid rate in his early career, and few 
indeed of the rich managers who compose the mighty so- 
called syndicate, can deny the service he rendered to pos- 
terity. Had it not been for the state of his health it is 
open to serious question whether he would not have been 
to-day an important member of the very syndicate itself. 
Leavitt gave many of to-day's prominent theatrical busi- 
ness men their first chance ; Mr. Al Hayman at one time 
was in Leavitt's employ, George W. Lederer was also 
first employed by him. In fact throughout the yo's and 
the greater part of the 8o's, Leavitt was the principal 
manager who had multitudinous enterprises. He was also 
the first to have a New York office, and he systematized, 
as far as his own business was concerned, a veritable clock 
like service for those with whom he was affiliated. 

92 JFottp gears 2D60ertmttott 

Leavitt, too, was ambitious and while he made the most 
of his money on the least artistic of his ventures he deeply 
regretted this and always aspired to uplift his name. He 
even entered into almost dangerous business deals with 
Colonel Mapleson, Maurice Grau and other great per- 
sonages for no other reason than to be identified with 
their artistic entourage, and if the truth were known these 
managers and many others have Leavitt to thank for 
having been safely carried over more than one stormy 
voyage. As a matter of fact, Leavitt provided a large 
share of the capital that made it possible for Henry E, 
Abbey to finance Sarah Bernhardt's first American tour. 

A few years ago when Leavitt returned to America 
from abroad, fully recovered from a malady which had 
been pronounced incurable, he astonished his numerous 
friends on the "Great White Way" by his changed ap- 
pearance. In fact, the recovery was so extraordinary 
that it has been referred to in medical history. It was 
this attack on his mental equilibrium that interrupted 
Leavitt's marvellous march on to the control of nearly all 
theatredom. On the day he arrived in this changed 
state he met Al Hayman, who once was in his employ 
and who is to-day the richest theatrical manager in the 
world as a result of his having accomplished the very 
thing that Leavitt had almost completed when his break- 
down came. Hayman hailed his old-time friend and as- 
sociate and in the midst of the animated conversation 
which followed he slapped his hand on the recovered 
showman's back and exclaimed: 

"Well, well, Mike, it's too bad you ever got ill. You 
would have been one of us (meaning, of course, the so- 
called theatrical syndicate). 

Leavitt replied with that quick repartee that was al- 
ways his: "'One of us/ did you say? Well! I like 

of 90u0tc anD tfte Drama 93 

that! If I had not been taken ill I think it possible you 
might have been 'one of me.' " 

Bartley Campbell was a playwright whose career 
when it reached the stage where he would be enabled 
to have his plays read at all, was very much on the 
same order as that which has been the lot of Eugene 
Walter whose "Paid in Full" made his fame in a night 
and changed his financial circumstances from one extreme 
to the other almost within a year. In the case of 
Campbell there was at least no justification for keeping 
his works from production for so long, because he had 
indicated great ability in various ways. Still it was not 
until he received an opening for his play, "The Galley 
Slave" that the fickle goddess of fortune smiled on him, 
but then, when it did come his way it was with a ven- 
geance; no less than four companies were sent out with 
"The Galley Slave" which for that period (more than 
thirty years ago) was remarkable. 

However, Campbell began to shake the dust off the 
manuscripts he had previously hawked about to managers 
without result, and now being recognized, he disposed of 
"Siberia," "The White Slave," "My Partner," and many 
others, and all made money for their producers. Eventu- 
ally, Campbell became his own producer and manager 
and his career later took on some of the vicissitudes 
which had characterized his earlier years. 

Thirty-five years ago, at the Union Square Theatre 
in this city, an organization from England known as the 
Yokes Family came to these shores and modestly 
announced themselves as a quintette of comedians and 
that they would be seen in a nonsensical travesty entitled 
"The Belles of the Kitchen." There were just five in this 
troupe Rosina, Jessie, Victoria, Frederick and Fawdon. 
Frederick was not a relative, but was engaged as the 

94 JFortp gears 2Db0erfcation 

comedian and was a fixture with the company as long as 
they appeared as a "family" in America. 

At the first appearance of this company the success was 
so astonishing and the surprise so remarkable that the 
vogue of the Yokes family at once became tremendous, 
and, for nearly two decades, it was possible for them to 
play to receipts equal to that of any of the stars or even 
some of the Grand Opera Companies. The leading spirit 
of the organization, if indeed it is fair to single out one in 
this collective band, was Rosina who long after became 
the star of a company which presented gems in the way 
of playlets and curtain raisers. 

Her company included Felix Morris and Weeden 
Grossmith and up to the very day of her death, she was 
one of the greatest attractions and one of the most be- 
loved artists that the stage of her time possessed. Her 
death caused a shock because of her worth as a woman, 
for Rosina Yokes' life was a busy one, and many indeed 
felt the benefits of her activity in the aid of her profes- 
sion's poor. 

The success of the Yokes Family caused other small 
bands of talented players to be equipped and the first of 
these was Salsbury's Troubadours at the head of 
which was Nate Salsbury who from the fortune he 
had made on this little troupe was enabled to purchase 
an interest in the Buffalo Bill Show from Wm. F. Cody. 
He, after about fifteen years of great results, gave 
up his interest in the "Troubadours" which included 
Nellie McHenry, John Webster, John Gourlay and an- 
other lady whose name is not now recalled. Miss Mc- 
Henry is still living and in fact is a star at the head of her 
own company though she does not, sad be it to relate, 
come to the Metropolis as was her wont in the days when 
she had the aid of Salsbury and her husband, Jack Web- 
ster who disappeared suddenly several years ago, leaving 

of $m\t ano tfte Drama 95 

no traces whatever. A son by the marriage, also known 
as Jack Webster is now a decidedly successful leading 
man who has had much experience in provincial stock 

Annie Pixley was a very prominent figure in the theat- 
rical world in the span from 1875 to 1895, and as M'liss 
in "The Child of the Sierras" held the public so that she 
virtually became the successor of Lotta. 

LOTTA herself retired in the prime of life while her 
zenith was indeed in sight rather than in the rear ; yet her 
action is greatly to be approved. Would that more of our 
players, having amassed fortunes and left the public im- 
pressed with them at their very best, might take their 
leave before they have utterly disillusioned their audi- 
ences ; but let it not be said that Lotta is not missed. In 
this instance the retirement might have been supple- 
mented with an occasional representation for charity, in 
order that players if not playgoers of this generation 
could be made witnesses of her consummate execution of 
any role she may have elected to assume. Firefly was 
her great achievement in the opinion of this writer. 

Maggie Mitchell, like Lotta, held sway up to about 
twelve years ago and her appearance anywhere would 
result in packed theatres and delighted audiences. Miss 
Mitchell who is now Mrs. Charles Abbott, is living in 
Long Branch, N. J., in a well-earned retirement, and is 
to be seen driving along Ocean Avenue, any pleasant day 
at any time of the year. 

The first of the Yiddish stars was M. B. Curtis, who 
as Sam'l of Posen was a factor for two full decades. Al- 
though his performance was wholly artistic and has never 
been equalled, his career has nevertheless been a decid- 
edly stormy one. In recent years he has found great 
difficulty in obtaining rcognition despite the fact that the 
exquisite art which characterized his interpretation of 

96 JFortp gears 2D60ettoation 

Samuel Plastrick was everywhere conceded. Perhaps the 
tragedy which he was connected with in San Francisco 
and which at one time looked very serious for Curtis, may 
have had much to do with the shortness of his vogue. 

Frank Bush preceded Curtis in the interpretation of 
Hebraic characters, but as he did not have an important 
vehicle for his talents and as his tours were confined to 
the provincial circuits, it is but fair to give Mr. Curtis the 
credit of being the first to present the "Hebrew Drum- 
mer" to American playgoers in an artistic manner. Bush 
has survived, and is to-day a sterling attraction in vaude- 
ville. His career has covered nearly thirty-five years, a 
record to be proud of particularly when one considers the 
prejudice he has had to contend with, because of the type 
of character he assumes. 

Johnstone Bennett, who breathed her last only a short 
time ago, was distinctly without an equal in her time, in 
the roles for which she was so peculiarly adapted. Her 
Jane will stand out as absolutely unique and one of the 
most substantial successes of the early regime of Charles 
Frohman. An effort was made by this indefatigable 
manager to supply Miss Bennett with a successor to Jane ; 
as a matter of fact, she did appear in a play entitled 
"Fanny," which was supposed to be a sequel to "Jane," 
but it failed most ingloriously. Even an attempt to create 
an unnatural duration to its run by placing La Loie Ful- 
ler as an added attraction between the acts, was fruitless. 
The comedy had a decidedly short career at the Man- 
hattan Theatre and its out of town bookings were 
abandoned. Miss Bennett, however, procured an excellent 
protean sketch entitled "A Quiet Evening at Home" by 
Kenneth Lee, and this served her in vaudeville for many 
years where her weekly salary varied from $300 to $500, 
according to her necessities and the managerial humor. 

tif 9iu0ic and tfte Drama 97 


Mrs. John Drew, mother of John, Georgia and Sidney 
Drew, was one of the best, if not the best of the many 
of her sex who managed theatres. The Arch Street 
Theatre, 6th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, where all of 
the Drews received their stage training is still standing. 
The Arch was truly the home of comedy and the pro- 
duction of such classics as "Home," "School," "Ours," 
"London Assurance," "Still Waters Run Deep," and "The 
School for Scandal" have rarely been surpassed, if indeed 
equalled in later years. 

Mrs. Drew retired from the stage long before she 
abandoned the business direction of her famous play- 

Another actress-manager whose career was replete 
with notable and earnest effort was Mrs. F. B. Conway 
who, like Mrs. Drew, had a family of players as the back- 
bone of her ideal stock company in the Brooklyn Theatre 
which she managed up to the time of her death. The two 
Conway sisters, Lillian and Minnie, became conspicuous 
features of the Metropolitan stage from 1870 to 1885. 
Lillian married Jules Levy, the Wizard of the Cornet, 
and she afterward became a prima donna of comic opera ; 
her Josephine in "Pinafore" was highly praised. Minnie 
Conway was wedded to Osmond Tearle, a Wallackian 
favorite who, three decades ago, was the matinee idol 
over whom New York's jeunesse doree raved. 

Mrs. George Holman (Harriett Holman), the pioneer 

98 jfortp gears 2D60ertoatton 

of English opera in America and mother of Sallie, 
Julia and Alfred Holman, was surely the ideal stage 
mother of her time. It would take a book to chronicle 
the vicissitudes and interesting experiences of this family 
who for twenty-five years, were conspicuous on the 
Canadian and American stage. The city of their principal 
operations was Toronto, where they owned the Royal 
Opera House. There, more than one production was 
made long before it was heard in the United States. 
Harriett Holman always conducted the orchestra and 
staged all the operas and plays which they presented. 

It is said of Mrs. Holman that she produced one of the 
Gilbert and Sullivan operas in three days, having only a 
violin part of the score and the libretto. The Holmans 
gave more than one of the stars of to-day their first 
chance; it will be news to many to know that our own 
favorite comedian, Wm. H. Crane, was actually appren- 
ticed to this organization. The spectacle of Crane actually 
singing tenor roles in grand and comic opera is neverthe- 
less a fact. He remained with the Holmans nearly a 
decade. When Edward E. Rice produced "Evangeline," 
Crane scored a tremendous hit in the role of Leblanc. 
Previous to this he had been a member of the Alice Gates 

Another Holmanite was Master Chatterton who was no 
|other than the Signer Perugini of to-day ; his career with 
the Holmans must be fast and securely impressed on his 
own memory. The years of barn-storming which he did 
with this precarious band has not, noticeably at least, left 
any mark on his always cheerful personality. 

For a long time all the legitimate theatres in Toronto 
and Montreal were managed by members of the gentler 
sex. The Grand Opera House in Toronto, all through the 
latter 6o's and yo's was like all theatres at this time, a 
"stock" house ; traveling companies were rare indeed. 

of fi^ttsic anfc tfie Drama 99 

The Grand was managed by Mrs. Morrison, an excel- 
lent actress and a clever business woman. 

In Montreal the Theatre Royal was managed by Fanny 
Marsh who hailed from Portland, Maine, and who main- 
tained all the year round, one of the best dramatic com- 
panies procurable. The theatre which Mrs. Marsh built 
in Portland is still standing and for years, has been the 
vaudeville house of that city, under the management of 
B. F. Keith. 

In those days it was the custom to play stars every 
other week in the theatres having their own stock com- 
pany, and it was usual for the great actors like Booth, 
McCullough, Forest, Barrett, Charlotte Cushman and 
others to send a stage manager one week ahead of their 
appearance to rehearse the actors. It was not at all 
uncommon for such a company, and under such circum- 
stances, to present eight plays in one week. All were 
heavy productions, principally Shakesperian, and yet the 
performances were by no means intolerable nor would 
they be so accounted to-day. Imagine the spectacle of 
our present-day actors indulging in this effort! 

It would be well to observe that the compensation re- 
ceived by actors and actresses was infinitely small com- 
pared to what is now paid. In fact the entire salary list 
of a company then would rarely exceed what is to-day 
paid a leading lady. John McCullough was glad to get 
$35 a week in Montreal not so many years before he died. 

The variety theatres of thirty-five and even twenty 
years ago, gave tremendous bills just as now, but there 
was no $3,000 a week for the Lillian Russells of that 
time; Vesta Victoria, who now gets $2,500 a week, was 
well satisfied with $100 a week at a period when she was 
quite as good as she is now; and Vesta Tilley, who now 
receives $1,750 a week made many a trip to America on 
the promise of $150 a week. 

ioo jfortp gears S)&0ertmtion 

The vaudeville salaries of to-day are worthy of consid- 
erable space, but it is quite sufficient for the moment to 
observe that there were no gold bricks in the olden times, 
and the selling of well-known names from the legitimate 
stage after they had there lost their usefulness was un- 
known in the Varieties of the distant past. 

Some of those who read this record will surely agree 
with the writer that the programmes given at the old 
Union Square under Bob Butler, or at the Eagle Theatre 
under Josh Hart, or down at The Theatre Comique under 
Ed Harrigan and Tony Hart, and last but not least at 
Tony Pastor's on the Bowery were equal in every way 
to the best that are given to-day even at Hammerstein's 
or Percy Williams' theatres. There were just as many 
feature acts then as now, though one act plays were not 
conspicuous. Still these variety theatres had competent 
authors attached to the salary list who turned out after- 
pieces, week after week. I recall George L. Stout and 
J. J. McCloskey, not to mention Ed. Harrigan, who, 
began by writing the "Mulligan" series to run thirty-five 
to forty-five minutes. It was not until Harrigan and Hart 
became their own managers that they gathered about 
them the extraordinary array of comedians which set this 
big town by its ears. Then it was that their plays ran a 
full evening. 

The favorites of the Harrigan plays are passing to the 
beyond very rapidly; Annie Yeamans, the greatest of 
them all, still lives, and is yet to be seen before the foot- 
lights. The demand for her services is a lesson to those 
who would maintain that the career of a player is at best, 
short, and that the public is not loyal to its favorites. 

Some of the greatest stars of to-day received their first 
training in the variety theatres, but perhaps the most in- 
teresting is Denman Thompson. Even his one big 
success, the play that for thirty years brought him fame 





A group of celebrated players of a dignified period of the theatre 

of S@it0ic anO tfte Drama 101 

and fortune, was first played in the varieties. "The Old 
Homestead," the play that has been seen by more people 
than any ever written, is only the enlargement of a thirty 
minute sketch played by Thompson, all over this country, 
called first, "The Female Bathers," and, afterward, 
"Uncle Josh," and finally "Joshua Whitcomb." Even 
before "The Old Homestead" was produced "Joshua 
Whitcomb" had been spread out into a full evening's 
performance. The performance as given to-day is vir- 
tually the same as when it was a sketch. 

Joe Murphy also began on the variety stage, though his 
great fortune was amassed in the legitimate field with his 
plays "Help," "Kerry Gow" and "Shaun Rhue." Strange 
to say, when Murphy, only a year or two ago, sought to 
return to his first love and present in vaudeville a con- 
densed version of "Kerry Gow," he was very coldly 
received and got no farther than his opening week at 
Yonkers where he was forced to give a "try out" like 
a veritable beginner. 

John W. Albaugh is retired now, and living at Long 
Branch; his was a career well worth noting. In the 
period from 1879 to 1883, Albaugh managed theatres in 
Baltimore, Washington and Albany with stock com- 
panies as their sustaining influence. Every star of the 
great past has spent periods in Mr. Albaugh's theatres, 
and Booth, Barrett and Charlotte Cushman were prac- 
tically frequent visitors. Albaugh played himself almost 
constantly in the 8o's. He married Mary Mitchell, a 
sister of Maggie Mitchell, and a son by this marriage, 
John W., Jr., has become prominent as an actor.* 

It is to be insisted upon that men like Bob Miles, John 
Ellsler, R. M. Hooley, The Meech Brothers, R. M. Field, 
John W. Norton (who brought out Mary Anderson), 

*John W. Albaugh died February, 1909. 

102 jfottg gears 2D6mtmtion 

David Bidwell, Tom Maguire and others are not to be 
found conducting the provincial theatres of this country 
to-day; the writer would feel justified in theorizing fur- 
ther on this subject were it not for want of space. The 
mere mention, however, of their names will be gratefully 
noted by those readers who recall their pleasing personal- 
ities. Some must indeed have cause to recall the many 
deeds of sacrifice which characterized their managerial 

There are but few such men left in the theatrical field, 
and it is to be regretted that it can not be said that their 
successors have followed in their footsteps. We have 
progressed in much, but that goodness of heart and the 
comradeship which in olden times made managers help 
one another and made even the prevalent disasters less 
difficult to endure, are to-day conspicuous by absence. 

Perhaps the most unique and certainly the most inter- 
esting figure of his time was John Stetson, the very 
mention of whose name should and will be received with 
delight by those who knew him. Stetson has been often 
made the victim of gross caricature and the many stories 
of an inviduous nature which have been published about 
him are either greatly exaggerated or else they are 
romance itself. Stetson was a showman and a successful 
one. Though brusque and somewhat hard to get along 
with, he was, after all, tender-hearted and he possessed 
an unerring instinct in the selection of attractions. He 
rarely made a miss. When he did, no one was as quick 
as he to acknowledge it. In Boston, whence he hailed, 
his word was as good as his bond. 

It was not the intention of the writer to indulge in 
anecdote. As has been stated above, much that has been 
written of Stetson was untrue and wholly unjustified. 
But there is enough that is really true to tempt the 

of spusic ana tfte Drama 103 

writer to recall a few of his most quaint sayings; those 
recorded here can at least be vouched for. 

When Stetson was managing the Globe Theatre in 
Boston, one of his annual visiting -stars was Mrs. D. P. 
Bowers and just before her appearance in each city, her 
managers caused large posters to be placed everywhere 
with only her three initials (of very large size) on them: 
D. P. B. On the opening night of her engagement in the 
Hub the theatre was not as crowded as the great Boston 
manager would desire, so that he was in a rather poor 
humor. In the lobby a stranger pointed to one of the 
big posters across the way and inquired of Stetson : 

"What do those three big letters over there stand for?" 
To which Stetson gruffly replied : 

"Damn poor business!" 

On another occasion Stetson had as the feature at the 
"Globe," Lillian Olcott in Sardou's "Theodora." The 
lithographs were most attractive and one, a big three- 
sheet, had a portrait of Theodora entering the cage 
wherein were three man-eating lions. Stetson was stand- 
ing in the foyer of the theatre when he was thus accosted : 

"Is this a good play, Theodora?" 

"Yes," said Stetson. 

"Are those real lions?" asked the man. 

"Yes," murmured the manager. 

"Is it true that Theodora goes in the cage with the 

Stetson, not pleased with the business the play was 
doing, replied roughly, "No, but I wish to God she 

There is one story about Stetson which I have never 
felt sure enough of to vouch for its veracity, but as it was 
told me by one of the most prominent theatrical men in 
this country who claimed to have been within earshot of 
the conversation, it is here repeated. 

104 jfortg gears fl)&0ervmtion 

It seems that Stetson was sitting in the front row of 
the orchestra on an important night of a comic opera's 
first production. This was most unusual for him as he 
always made it a rule to watch these first nights from the 
wings. However, on this night he was listening to the 
overture and his attention was attracted by the cornet 
player who was idle, although all of the other instruments 
were heard. Stetson said nothing until the cornetist had 
been silent for nearly a moment. Turning to him, Stetson 
demanded to know why he was not playing his instru- 
ment. The cornetist, greatly disturbed by this sudden 
approach, answered in a trembling voice : "I have sixteen 
bars rest." 

"Rest! did you say?" asked Stetson. 

"Yes," said the musician. 

"I don't pay to rest. I pay you to play and if you don't 
blow your horn and keep blowing it you can go to the 
box office and get your money and rest as long as you 
like," was the excited retort. 

It has been stated above that it was Stetson's habit to 
stand in the wings on an opening night. That this was 
only too true many a stage worker has known to his 
sorrow, and more than one of those still living can so 

Stetson was the lessee, for many years, of the famous 
Howard Athenaeum in Boston. It was conducted by him 
as one of the very few strictly variety theatres which this 
country supported at that time. The bills were changed 
weekly and on the Monday nights, placing himself in the 
first entrance, alongside the prompter's box, he would 
watch each turn with that eagle one eye which he had, 
and which has so often struck terror in a performer's 

On this particular night Stetson was evidently in one 

of s^tisic anti tfie Drama 105 

of those humors that were dreaded by those who feared 
him. The very first number was a team of song and 
dance men who had been sent from New York by an 
agent and represented to be headliners in their specialty. 
After their first verse, the manager called them off but the 
team did not respond quickly. There were no hooks in 
those days but Stetson, now in a rage, screamed to them 
to come off, which they did. Trembling from head to 
foot they approached the manager who inquired of them 
what was the name of that song they were trying to sing. 

"Where Can Those Beautiful Canaries be Found?" 
answered the frightened performers. Stetson now thor- 
oughly in a passion, yelled out : 

"D d, if I know, but you can go to the box office 

and get your week's salary and take the rest of the week 
to find out." 

There are no Stetsons to-day; the great magnates of 
vaudeville, with the exception, perhaps, of the late Tony 
Pastor, do not indulge in such pleasantries as that of 
paying a team a week's salary after they had proved 
wanting at the first performance. 

Stetson was managing the old 5th Avenue Theatre on 
Broadway and was playing to a capacity business with 
Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado." Having no worry for 
himself he was wont to visit the other theatres and, as he 
used to put it, "Observe a thing or two and learn a thing 
or two." One night he went into the Bijou Theatre (the 
same Bijou now managed by the Sire Bros.), where the 
Comley Barton Company with Catherine Lewis, John 
Howson and others were giving Audran's "Olivette." 
Business here was fair, but had not yet reached the tre- 
mendous run it, later, achieved. He looked around the 
auditorium and began to sympathize with James Barton, 
one of the two directors of the company. Barton became 

106 JFortp gears 

indignant and said that Stetson could keep his sympathy, 
that business was good, and profitable too, and turning to 
Stetson, he inquired : 

"How much do you think there is in this house to- 

"Oh, I don't know or care, but I think it's a shame that 
such a good fellow and so good a company as you have 
here should play to such a small house." 

Barton, now thoroughly enraged turned to Stetson, he 

"See here, Dick Deadeye I'll tell you how much there 
is in that house. There is just eleven hundred dollars." 

Stetson took another look, then he went down the 
center aisle and looked above the orchestra floor and, re- 
turning, observed to Barton, with that roguish look that 
none can forget : 

"Say Jim, that's an honest usher you have here. I wish 
I was so fortunate in that respect." 

"What do you mean?" sniffed Barton. 

"I mean if there is eleven hundred dollars in this house 
to-night, then someone has dropped eight hundred on the 

John Stetson was manager of James O'Neill for many 
years, and the star who was so long identified with "The 
Count of Monte Cristo" prospered greatly under the 
Bostonian's guidance. Once the representative of Stet- 
son wired him that his presence was needed in Chicago, 
where the company was appearing at McVicker's Thea- 
tre. The treasurer of this establishment was at the time 
a Mr. Sharp, who, after the death of J. H. McVicker, be- 
came manager. It happened that Stetson arrived in Chi- 
cago about noon on a Saturday, which was, of course, a 
matinee day, and it is quite evident that he did not relish 
being called upon to make the long journey. At all 
events, as he proceeded along Madison Street the mati- 

of Su0fc ana t&e Drama 107 

nee crowds were pouring into the theatre. Stetson's at- 
tention was attracted by a huge sign which read: 


Of course this meant that the performance would start 
promptly at the hour advertised, but Stetson's ire was 
aroused at what he thought a presumption on the part of 
the house treasurer. Approaching the box-office, before 
he had a chance to exchange greetings with any of his 
friends or representatives, he shook his finger in the face 
of the "knight" of the box-office, saying: "See here! 
Take that sign in and have it changed. I am running 
this house, and I want the sign to read : 


John F. Poole held a decidedly conspicuous position in 
the amusement world from 1860 to 1885. He was director 
of amusements in the old Theatre Comique at 514 Broad- 
way where Josh Hart reigned and where Harrigan and 
Hart produced their "Mulligan" series of plays. It was 
when he joined hands with Tom Donnelly and the firm 
of Poole and Donnelly had evolved, that Poole was a fac- 
tor in the business side of the theatre. Donnelly had been 
a "way back" even at this period and had long reigned 
over Donnelly's Olympic in Brooklyn. Together these 
two old heads conceived the idea of leasing the Big Opera 
House on 23d Street and 8th Avenue and managing it as 
a combination house. They were the originators of the 
plan which to this day has not in the least been dis- 
turbed ; it is to their credit that they accomplished success 
despite many obstacles. That theatre which, up to then, 
had been persistently depleting the fortunes of those who 
dared to trifle with its fate, began to draw the great West 

108 jfortg gears fl)60ertmttott 

Side public; Poole and Donnelly gave this public the 
Broadway attractions at fifty cents. 

This firm should be classed as the pioneers of the com- 
bination theatre of this type. Later on, the Grand Opera 
House fell into the hands of Augustus Pitou, and Poole 
took on the 8th Street theatre ; but no amount of energy 
or brains could reassemble the following he had before 
created. Although Charles Frohman opened the house, 
with one of his productions, the theatre had a varied and 
checkered career and finally became a German theatre, 
under the management of Adolph Phillip who here 
achieved the extraordinary run of over 600 performances 
for his play, "The Grocery Man of Avenue B." 

In speaking of Tom Donnelly it should be stated that 
his son and daughter, Henry and Dorothy, have had inter- 
esting careers; Henry having been star, manager and 
playwright while Dorothy is now playing the leading role 
in the "Lion and the Mouse" with much success. In fact, 
in one season at the Murray Hill Theatre under her 
brother's direction she assumed no less than forty roles of 
importance and nearly all of varied character, testing her 
versatility severely. 

This Murray Hill Theatre at 42d Street and Lexington 
Avenue, while under the artistic and general direction of 
Henry Donnelly came nearer to being a playhouse, as the 
term should be understood, than any other this writer can 
recall of recent years. Dorothy Donnelly was by no 
means the only development of the strenuous stock days 
that there prevailed. Frances Starr, who now is one of 
Mr. Belasco's most successful stars, only a few years ago 
got her first chance from Mr. Donnelly and, in a single 
season, this now charming actress grew from an awkward 
amateur into a finished and painstaking artist. 

No season goes by that there does not come into this 
jaded metropolis some youthful player, unheralded, hail- 






"Great actors past and present." 

of Uit0ic attD t&c Drama 109 

ing from some provincial stock company, where little of 
the artistic is wont to prevail, and soon a new star shines 
above the horizon. It is well that the manager for these 
few stock companies about the country are usually 
players of vast experience, or managers still active and 
vigorous, and of the old school. It is this state of affairs 
that has held up the artistic fabric of the dramatic 
structure and when this source of incentive becomes 
exhausted, it will not be easy to predicate the future 
artistic possibilities of the stage. 

"Tom" Donnelly had much of the Hibernian wit char- 
acteristic of his race. An anecdote recalled of him while 
he presided over the destinies of the palatial theatre on 
West 23rd street, is to the effect that his property man, 
one Monday morning near the season's end, when busi- 
ness was on the wane at the box office, approached him 
with a large list of perishable properties for the current 
attraction. Among these was an item calling for sev- 
eral yards of hose and a chemical device for the purpose 
of destroying the effect of smoke and fire. Donnelly 
protested that this was a wholly unnecessary expense 
and could be dispensed with. 

"But," said the property man, "you want to get your 
audiences out of the house without danger or panic." 

To which Donnelly responded quickly: "Never mind 
about getting the audiences out of the house. Better con- 
ceive some plan to get them in just now." 

Mary Anderson began her professional career in Louis- 
ville, Ky., as Juliet. She was partially successful, being 
only $10 in debt to the management at the end of the first 
week. Ben de Bar, a celebrated Falstaff, tendered her a 
nine weeks' engagement in St. Louis, where she won 
great success but little money. The plucky Kentucky 
girl soon attracted the attention of John W. Norton of 
St. Louis who was greatly impressed with her possi- 

no jfortg gears 2D&0ertmtion 

bilities, especially her remarkable resonant voice that 
destined her to become the greatest actress of her gen- 
eration. Though she retired from the stage while in her 
zenith, she is the one and only stage queen who has re- 
mained steadfast to her resolution never again to appear 
on the boards. 

Numerous efforts have been made to have her leave her 
beautiful English home at Broadway, England, but she 
has never wavered for a second, not even when Mr. 
Abbey, her last American manager, who held an un- 
expired contract for her services offered her $200,000 for 
a season of thirty weeks. Even as recently as 1904, the 
writer of this record offered her the same terms, and, 
hoping to touch her generous heart, agreed that the tour 
be utilized only for Shakespearian readings and that half 
the profits would be given to any charity that she might 
be interested in; but all negotiations were useless, and it 
is not likely that the public will see this gifted woman on 
the boards again, although in England, on very rare occa- 
sions, she has appeared for some charity, when, strange 
to state, it was as a singer, not a player, that she has 
charmed her many hearers. 

NIBLO'S GARDEN, a large and commodious theatre 
located on lower Broadway, between Houston and Prince 
Streets, has been the scene of many notable productions ; 
its history is replete with interesting records of the stage. 
Here William Wheatleigh reigned for a long time ; all of 
the great foreign, and native players of the Go's and yo's 
trod its boards at some time or other. Afterwards the 
theatre became famous for spectacles. That enterprising 
firm of managers, Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer, scored in 
this historic playhouse some of their greatest triumphs, 
and here it was that the great run of "The Black Crook" 
took place and where the peerless Morlachi and the cap- 

of fiu0ic anB t&e Drama 111 

tivating Bonfanti set New York literally crazy with their 
marvelous toe dancing. 

After all is said and done it is greatly to be questioned 
if any of the productions which to-day are so much 
boasted of could rival or even approach this, the first 
attempt to place a grand spectacle on the local stage. 
After "The Black Crook" which ran two years and even 
then was often revived, came "The White Fawn." 
Though Jarrett and Palmer spent nearly $50,000 on it, the 
final result by no means was as favorable as their first 
great success. They were truly great managers, and 
when they moved uptown to 23d Street and 6th Avenue, 
and occupied the palatial theatre built by Edwin Booth, 
they continued the extravagant policy which they inaugu- 
rated at Niblo's Garden. Among their most notable 
achievements was the really gorgeous offering of "Sard- 
anapalus," at present being presented in Berlin under the 
Kaiser's direction. French opera bouffe reached its 
pristine glory at Niblo's Garden ; here the elder Bateman 
produced Offenbach's opera "Barbe Bleu" with Irma and 
Aujac as prima donna and tenor. Over thirty years ago 
these two consummate artists, singing and acting in a 
foreign language, in a city one-fifth the size of the New 
York of to-day, were able to pack Niblo's, a theatre as 
large if not larger than the Grand Opera House, five 
months in one single operetta. The writer makes the 
observation that a revival of the dear old works of Offen- 
bach, Lecocq, Herve, etc., with a company of French 
singers and actors, would meet with an acclaim that 
would repay the effort. 

The late Maurice Grau was the only manager whom the 
public could look to for this class of amusement. When 
he became a Grand Opera, impresario, despite the fact that 
he owned the scenery, costumes and paraphernalia of the 
entire repertoire of Opera bouffe, he was compelled to 

112 jfortp gears? 2D&0ertration 

abandon the field entirely. Not since the death of Marie 
Aimee has New York had a visit from a company of this 
class, though every year, New Orleans and even Montreal 
import, from Paris, the latest artists and operettas. Some 
shrewd servant of this public could do worse than nego- 
tiate at least for a spring season. In this connection it 
should be stated that forty years ago, and even still 
farther back, New York City supported a theatre 
Francais. The theatre on i4th Street and 6th Avenue 
now managed by Mr. Rosenquest housed many a com- 
pany of Parisian players, who would play an entire season 
there, with reasonable success, and, later on, in West 236. 
Street on the very site of the old Koster and Bial's. 
French plays ran for two years in a little bijou theatre 
which the popular minstrel, Neil Bryant, built in 1872, 
the last home of his merry band.* 

Of late, aside from an occasional visit from Sarah Bern- 
hardt or Coquelin or Rejane or Jane Hading, there has 
been no effort to revive the Theatre Francais here. It 
would seem that with the greatly increased French popu- 
lation and the popularity of the language among educated 
Americans, that a small theatre like the Bijou would be 
well subscribed to for an annual season of the works of 
the great French masters.f 

*The welcome announcement has been issued by both Opera 
Houses, as well as by the New Theatre, that next year's reper- 
toire will include the choicest selections from Opera Bouffe and 
Opera Comique. 

Often one hears much of Art to the exclusion of Commercial- 
ism, but it is to be noted that a manager who fully understood 
financial difficulties, was called in to explain the cause of a 
deficit at the Metropolitan Opera House. After all, the mil- 
lionaires, who are in power at 40th Street and Broadway, are 
only human. 

fThe patronage at this same Bijou Theatre on Sunday even- 

of egtigtc ana tfie Drama us 

German theatres, however, have always been plentiful. 
On the very site of the old Windsor Theatre, once called 
the Stadt Theatre, the greatest German and Austrian 
players appeared and here, Davison, Haase, Bandmann, 
Marie Seebach, Hedwig Raabe and even the great Wach- 
tel appeared always with phenomenal success. The Ger- 
mans of this city soon began to move with the uptown 
tendency; Adolph Neuendorf, the first permanent man- 
ager of a German theatre in this city, was induced to 
secure a long lease on the little theatre adjoining the 
Academy of Music, calling it the German Theatre, and 
remaining there many years with varying success. 

Wallack's at isth Street and Broadway was being 
abandoned for the theatre at soth Street and Broadway 
now being called by that name. This gave to the am- 
bitious Neuendorf and opportunity long desired; the old 
Wallack's was leased and maintained by him as the home 
of German operetta and plays. Here, Marie Geistinger 
made a notable success in "Boccaccio." Neuendorf was 
determined, however, to have a more permanent abode, 
and the theatre on Irving Place which is still used for the 
German plays, was built. Another establishment is now 
being abandoned, after an effort, at 5gth Street and Madir 
son Avenue under Dr. Baumfield's direction. 

The Yiddish Theatre has very little antiquity associated 
with it, although its vogue to-day is nothing short of 
extraordinary. To-day, besides four first class theatres 
devoted to Yiddish plays and operas, there are no less 
than ten music halls. These theatres and halls are by 
no means small and will compare favorably with those in 
use by the English and American players. 

Adler's Grand Theatre, in which Jacob Adler appeared 

ings, in 1907-08, when Mr. Louis P. Verande gave comedies and 
operettas in French, was highly encouraging. 

jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

for several years before he leased the house to Al. H. 
Woods for melodrama, cost that great Hebrew tragedian 
$28,000 a year for rental alone. It was not at all un- 
common for this artist to play there week in and week 
out to receipts in excess of $6,000 a week, the majority of 
which would be taken in on the last three days of the 
week. Mr. Adler has on several occasions appeared for 
a single week at the American Theatre on 42d Street, 
when uptown people were given an opportunity to see 
the greatest Shylock of his time and, perhaps, of any 

In these uptown pilgrimages Adler would be supported 
by an American or English speaking company and al- 
though Adler received for his services $1,000 a week, the 
theatre was always sold out before the doors were opened. 
It has become proverbial for theatres, as soon as they 
cease to pay as English places of amusement to be quick- 
ly turned into Yiddish theatres. 

The old Windsor Theatre on the Bowery was leased 
years ago by Bertha Kalich who became as great a favor- 
ite as Adler at what was called and is still called the 
Kalich Theatre, though Miss Kalich herself has long since 
become an English speaking star under the direction of 
Harrison Grey Fiske, and her tours are constantly grow- 
ing in interest as well as in the financial results. Even in 
the upper part of the city, the Star Theatre at loyth 
Street and Lexington Avenue, long a veritable gold mine 
for melodrama, has had to succumb to the demand and, 
to-day, an imported company of singers and players from 
Russia are playing to large audiences. The old Bowery 
Theatre which had survived for more than half a century 
was, only a few months ago, abandoned to the Yiddish 
players, who, despite the fact that Jacob Adler is playing 
now directly opposite are meeting with extraordinary 

As Rip Van Winkle. 

of Su0ic anD tfte Drama 115 

I . . 

favor from audiences which crowd the big house to its 
very doors. 

It has been considered that a few words written about 
the "Yiddish" theatres of New York would not be in 
vain, since within a few years the Jewish population of 
New York City has become equal to the entire population 
of the Metropolis twenty years ago. Our uptown man- 
agers, in fact managers of any locale, need not envy 
these Yiddish impresarios, for their lot is far from pleas- 
ant, they being totally at the mercy of a series of unions, 
who hold the managers in a state of terror continuously. 
There are unions galore actors', choristers', hair-dress- 
ers', prompters', bill posters' and ushers' unions. No 
season goes by that all of these theatres are not compelled 
to close up for a period. At one time not a theatre was 
opened in the entire Ghetto for more than a week. The 
rules set down by these self-declared tyrants would be 
impossible of execution were it not that their organization 
is so complete and their affiliations so absolute. 

Besides these four legitimate theatres there are no less 
than ten first-class music halls in the Ghetto district, and 
these are ruled by still another union, or rather a union 
of unions. 

The Kiralfy Brothers or "me und mein Brudder" as 
these two great kings of spectacle were often facetiously 
called, came to this country from Buda Pesth. There 
were three brothers and three sisters and the furore that 
they created at Niblo's and other theatres thirty years 
ago, has not often been duplicated if indeed it has ever 
been. The sisters introduced here for the first time their 
picturesque style of dancing; Imre, Bolossy and Arnold 
Kiralfy astounded our forefathers with the agility and 
precision with which they executed their eccentric 
terpsichorean feats. All three of the Kiralfy Brothers 

116 JFortg gears 2D&0ertmtion 

are alive to-day and in harness too. Imre is in London 
where he is the prime mover in the great Earl's Court 
Exposition. Bolossy only a year ago produced "Pocca- 
hontas" at the Norfolk or rather the Jamestown Exposi- 
tion. Arnold is teaching and often presents novelties and 
dancing creations at the theatres. One of the sisters 
married Alfred L. Parkes an esteemed theatrical critic 
who for many years had charge of the dramatic columns 
of the New York Mercury, a newspaper that in its day 
cut a wide swath.* 

Another Kiralfy sister married Edmond Gerson, who 
for a very long period was the manager of the business 
ventures of the Kiralfys. 

Imre Kiralfy was a true type of the European manager 
and it is not surprising that his career has been the most 
successful, for he at all times displayed a great general- 
ship. While the Kiralfys were in Europe, looking for 
novelties, they secured Hubert Wilke, an actor who has 
not found his proper sphere in America. Wilke was fea- 
tured in a musical play entitled, "The Rat Catcher" in 
which he was successful in Europe, and in America. It 
may not be too late for some enterprising manager to 
again bring Wilke before the American public, for it is 
seriously to be doubted if there is on the contemporaneous 
stage to-day, a player better fitted for the romantic plays 
in which old New York delighted and which now, when 
some entrepreneur is emboldened to produce them, are 
so highly appreciated. Not since the days of Charles 
Fechter, perhaps the greatest romantic actor America 
ever welcomed, have we had a player so worthy of rep- 
resenting the grand works of the elder Dumas, Sardou 
and Victor Hugo. Wilke appeared first in this country 

* Arnold died before these pages go to press. 

of Sgu0tc anD tfie Drama m 

in German in "The Merry War," under Herr Conried's 

Fechter's career in this country was unusually stormy 
for he was not popular with his brethren of the stage, but 
who that has been privileged to see his Claude Melnotte 
in "The Lady of Lyons" will ever forget the way he 
swayed his audiences, or who has there ever been to 
succeed him as Obenreiser in "L* Abime?" It was 
Fechter who rebuilt the Theatre Francais at the corner of 
1 4th Street and 6th Avenue and here as the Brothers di 
Franchi in "The Corsican Brothers" he played the most 
memorable of his American engagements. It is also 
recalled that on one occasion Fechter appeared in the 
French language, assisted by the French players headed 
by Mile. Julietta Clarence, who were brought to this 
country by Messrs. Grau and Chizzola in the early 70*3. 

Edwin Adams was another player of romantic roles of 
this period and in "Enoch Arden" he had a vehicle that 
served him almost throughout his long and honorable 

Nearly all the great foreign actors either mastered our 
language or else were seen in polyglot performances 
which were rarely artistic and never successful. Even the 
elder Salvini, after his first tour, was supported by 
American players. Ristori's last visit here under such 
conditions, greatly disillusionized her audiences who 
loved to recall her at her best. 

Daniel Bandmann, however, when he appeared with 
native actors, himself spoke the language, though not 
perfectly, and only in "Narcisse" did he meet with great 
favor. Bandmann died in 1904. He starred jointly with 
Louise Beaudet more than two decades ago, and this 
very versatile actress was wont to play his leading and 
heavy roles, though she was, as she is still to-day, as 

118 Jfortp gears >60erfcation 

dainty as Dresden china. At the present time Miss 
Beaudet is appearing with "The Man from Home" tour- 
ing company, as the Comtesse de Champigney. 

One block further uptown from Niblo's Garden, be- 
tween Houston and Bleecker Street, on Broadway, was 
the famous theatre built by Laura Keene, afterwards 
managed by James Hayes and, still later, by Samuel 
Colville and John Duff. Here was the Tenderloin dis- 
trict of the 6o's and Charles Collin's famous cafe in the 
Olympic Theatre foyer was always crowded with actors, 
sports and bohemians. All of the dramatic agents, too, 
had their offices in this vicinity and Harry Hill's place 
was but a stone's throw away. 

It was at the Olympic that Pantomime had its great 
vogue. That modern Grimaldi, George L. Fox, pros- 
pered here for many years. The production of "Humpty 
Dumpty" was second only to the "Black Crook," and had 
the unprecedented run of 500 nights. Later on Fox pro- 
duced "Hickory Dickory Dock" but this was not quite 
so successful. Pantomime seemed to die with Fox and 
surely no one has ever successfully taken his place. 

There was a vast difference between the clowns of to- 
day and this King of Momus. Fox was an actor in the 
true sense of the word and yet when he asked for serious 
recognition as Hamlet it was denied him. From every 
critical point of view his work as "The Melancholy 
Dane" was artistic and consistent, yet the audiences 
howled; this so broke poor Fox's heart that his career 
was cut short, and he became mentally weak. 

Speaking of Fox and the ridicule that his serious work 
commanded recalls George Jones, The Count Joannes. 
Who, that ever saw him will forget the most eccentric 
actor the stage has even known? Though he was known 
to play Romeo behind a net, he was able to reap the finan- 
cial reward that many great actors of his time were de- 

of fiii0ic anD tfie Drama 119 

nied. Jones was not a bad actor, but it was impossible to 
hear a word he said. In fact on his entrance he would 
be greeted by 1,000 voices with "Oh George," and when 
as Hamlet he would order Ophelia to a nunnery, the 
theatre filled with Wall Street brokers and men about 
town would ring with this retort: "Don't you do it, 
Ophelia," and again when Romeo kisses Juliet farewell 
they would cry out "Oh George!" 

A theatre in olden times that had the reputation of be- 
ing a hoodoo was the one owned by the A. T. Stewart 
Estate at Astor Place and Broadway, last used as an 
Athletic Club, and before that, as "Ye London Streete." 
Here nearly every manager of the last four decades had 
his experiment. The theatre will be best known as the 
home, for many years, of the famous Worrell Sisters, 
Jennie, Sophie and Irene. Sophie married George S. 
Knight, a German dialect actor who went to his grave, 
disappointed because the public would accept him only 
in humorous work. He was a great actor and can be 
compared with David Warfield. Irene Worrell, the writer 
believes, is living in Brooklyn ; Jenny has long since gone 
over to the now great majority. 

A few doors from the New York Theatre where the 
Worrell Sisters had their vogue, at 720 Broadway, the re- 
nowned Kelly and Leon Minstrels had their bijou home. 
Here "The Only Leon" used to burlesque the Grand 
Opera favorites and stars of the legitimate stage, just as 
Weber and Fields used to do at their Broadway Music 
Hall. Leon's career was a long and notable one and only 
two or three years ago he was seen in New York, a 
vivid reminder of the dear old days of "720." He is alive 
and is now in Chicago. 

Speaking of hoodoos the theatre which was torn down 
a few months ago, at 2gth Street and Broadway, in which 
Margaret Anglin and Henry Miller produced "The 

120 jfottg gears 2D60ertmtton 

Great Divide" has probably seen more fiascos and more 
managers have failed there than perhaps anywhere in the 
world. It's name has been changed so often that all of 
the titles cannot be recalled, but its first use as an amuse- 
ment resort was when the San Francisco Minstrels tried 
to establish there a permanent home for themselves. As 
the company was headed by Birch, Wambold, Bernard 
and Backus, it is to be assumed that the efforts were 
worthy of appreciation. 

Since then minstrelsy was the principal attraction of- 
fered, though Richard Mansfield once played a memorable 
engagement there. Alexander Herrmann, the most popu- 
lar magician of his time took the house and spent a 
fortune to make it look inviting, but save when he him- 
self appeared there, the financial results were nil. In one 
season this theatre was known to change managers six 
times, and was then referred to as "The Morgue." 

Augustin Daly, prior to his entrance into the theatrical 
world, was the dramatic editor of the New York Sun. A 
just critic himself, he was, nevertheless, severe with 
critics who passed adverse judgment on his plays. When 
J. Austin Fynes of the Clipper scored one of his produc- 
tions, Daly changed the critics' regular seats from third 
row orchestra to second row balcony, back of a pillar at 

He was the son-in-law of John Duff, a typical theatrical 
manager of the old school, the last of the many managers 
to tempt fate at the Olympic Theatre. Daly made many 
notable productions before he had established a stock 
company in New York. One of these was "Under the 
Gaslight," another, "Around the Clock," both written or 
adapted by himself. It was in West 24th Street that 
Daly first located with his well defined stock policy, in 
the very same theatre which John Brougham had used 
for his last stage work. In this little bijou playhouse 

of $u$tc and tfie Drama 121 

Daly gave New Yorkers some of the plays that made his 
name so distinguished, but it was not until later that 
"Divorce," "Pique," "Frou Frou," and "Needles and 
Pins" were presented; Clara Morris and Fanny Daven- 
port were then given their great opportunities. The 
Company also contained James Lewis, Charles Fisher, 
Fanny Morant, George Clarke, Mrs. Gilbert, Ida Ver- 
non, and others equally well known. When the little 
house known as the Fifth Avenue Theatre was destroyed 
by fire, Daly, in the space of one week, remodelled the 
theatre known as the New York, and brilliantly trans- 
formed it into one of the most beautiful theatres imagin- 
able. This was but a temporary affair, as work began at 
once on the new building also called the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre, 28th Street and Broadway, and which, a few 
months later, was opened. There for years afterward, 
the greatest stage director and organizer that America 
has ever known, maintained a model organization which 
for discipline and devotion to art has never been ap- 
proached. It was at this theatre that Daly developed the 
stage career of Ada Rehan. This theatre also was des- 
tined to be destroyed, and then it was that Daly moved 
to the establishment which now bears his name. 

It may not be generally known but the present Daly's 
Theatre is virtually the same, except for decorations and 
remodeling, as the old "Wood's Museum" which, thirty 
years ago, occupied the same site. The building itself is 
the same save for the painters' brush and the decor- 
ators' art, together with new furnishings. Daly's, as it 
stands to-day, is precisely the "Wood's Museum" of the 
6o's, in fact it has not changed since it was Banvard's 
Museum before Wood came on the scene. 

The days of Wood's Museum are not without interest. 
The lobbies were all filled with curiosities and with 
freaks, but in the theatre, two performances were given 

122 jfortp gears 2D&0ettration 

daily, and as many as 300 plays would be seen in one 
season. Although it was a museum, some of the best 
actors of the last half century got here their incentive for 
the careers which followed. 

Thomas W. Keene played at Wood's Museum; week 
in and week out he played from four to ten parts, giving 
two performances daily. Louis Aldrich did the same and 
Henry Lee now in vaudeville began his dramatic career 
there. Although to-day he is not known for his dramatic 
work, he occasionally makes an excursion from the vaude- 
villes into the drama and always with grace and much 

At Wood's Museum the melodramatic stars, then so 
prevalent had great vogue. Oliver Doud Byron in 
"Across the Continent" and other plays was always wel- 
come, as was also Dominick Murray, an actor who has 
had no equal in Irish comedy. 

Many of the most prominent players and managers of 
the present day, started humbly enough in the careers 
that afterward became so active and noteworthy. 

Charles Burnham, for almost two decades, manager of 
Wallack's Theatre was an usher in the first Daly's 
Theatre in West 24th Street. Before he reached the dig- 
nity of his present position he had occupied every possible 
position in the business department of the theatre, in this 
city and "on the road." He was advance agent for Au- 
gustin Daly for many years, and had charge of the tours 
of the Daly companies. 

Thomas F. Shea, who has been Mr. Frohman's business 
manager at the Empire Theatre ever since the playhouse 
first opened, January 25, 1893, began as an usher in the 
first Daly's Theatre in West 24th Street. He, also, 
worked his way up to his present position by the accumu- 
lation of a vast experience on the road as an advance 
agent and treasurer for Robson and Crane. 

of fi^ttsic ana t&e Drama 123 

More than one of the managers who amassed wealth in 
theatrical affairs, began as a player, and, singularly 
enough, would show an adaptability to the business end 
of the stage which was wholly lacking to their stage 

Frank W. Sanger was one of these. He had been an 
actor long before he tempted fate on his own account but 
nothing was achieved by his artistic endeavors that would 
entitle him to extended attention from the historian. 

Sanger was leading man for the beautiful Adelaide 
Neillson the best Juliet the stage has ever known, and it 
has been often observed that his work was so bad as to 
cause amazement as to how he could hold so important 
a position with so distinguished a star. Sanger's first 
business venture was with the late Charles Hoyt, in that 
successful author's first effort in the musical comedy line, 
"A Bunch of Keys." It had one of the longest runs ever 
known, and for more than ten years Sanger reaped enor- 
mous profits, there being as many as four companies 
presenting the farce simultaneously. Sanger's profits on 
this venture alone were in excess of $100,000. He became 
the lessee of the Broadway Theatre and was Charles 
Frohman's partner in the Empire Theatre property. In 
1902 Sanger was acting manager of the Metropolitan 
Opera House. 

Wm. A. Brady, although a better actor than the late 
Frank Sanger will hardly himself claim that his histrionic 
efforts would have yielded him the fame and fortune 
which his brainy business methods have achieved. He 
began as a call boy in San Francisco and his appearance 
as an actor was principally on the Pacific Coast. When 
Brady did come East he made his presence felt and by 
his first production, a revival of the old forgotten melo- 
drama "After Dark," he commanded the respect and 
attention of all theatredom; from that time on his pro- 

124 jFottp gears 

gress has been nothing short of marvelous. Whatever 
may be the diversity of opinion as to Brady's ability as 
an actor, no one has ever questioned his place in the 
profession as a stage director. Mr. Brady at the present 
time is at the height of his career, and there seems to be 
no indication that he has yet accomplished his highest 

The story of Hurtig and Seamen's rise is of decided 
interest. The Hurtigs hail from Cincinnati, a city that 
has produced more successful showmen than any other, 
save the Metropolis itself. How many Hurtigs there were 
at the outset cannot be assumed, and there is no indica- 
tion that they have grown any less through prosperity. 
At any rate the Hurtigs first came to notice as ticket 
speculators on the streets of New York. Julius and Ben, 
were the leading spirits and they were to be seen in front 
of the theatres and operas, twenty years ago. 

In 1894 they conceived the idea to go on tour with 
Sarah Bernhardt and buy up all the choice seats, and sell 
them at a premium. Three Hurtigs would go in advance, 
to buy up the seats, another brigade of Hurtigs would 
follow, a week later, to dispose of them. 

Harry Seamon is not a relation of the Hurtigs, but a 
life long friend. He was a club swinger who had "played 
dates" for years and at this time was the permanent stage 
manager in the Eden Musee on West 23d Street. Mr. 
Hurtig wanted to install Seamon in an agency, and, leas- 
ing an office floor on Broadway near 28th Street, the firm 
of Hurtig and Seamon was evolved. The firm began in 
a small way as vaudeville agents ; the secret of their suc- 
cess ultimately seems to have been due to the number of 
Hurtigs that could always be hurried to the scene of any 

The manner in which Hurtig and Seamon became 
managers is interesting; they seemed to follow in the 

of 8u0ic anO tfie Drama 125 

wake of George W. Lederer; whenever the latter would 
fail in any enterprise Hurtig and Seamon would resurrect 
the remnants and always with success. 

Lederer opened the St. Nicholas Music Hall in New 
York with vaudeville. After a few weeks of failure Hur- 
tig and Seamon went in and made money. When 
Lederer failed to make a success of the Harlem Music 
Hall on West i25th Street, Hurtig and Seamon took the 
house and soon established it as "a gold mine." Here 
they have amassed the greater part of their fortune. It 
was George Lederer who discovered Williams and 
Walker, and for quite a period he managed their tours. 
Eventually they, too, were abandoned by Lederer, and 
again Hurtig and Seamon made a long contract with 
these colored comedians ; it was under their management 
that these stars developed into the best paying attraction 
of their race in America.* 

The writer does not wish to convey by the above that 
Mr. Lederer's career has not been a successful one, for 
such is far from a fact, but the coincidences referred to 
in above three instances are well worth recording. 

Ted D. Marks, a quarter of a century ago was just as 
conspicuous a character as he is to-day, though he did 
not occupy a very prominent part in the theatrical con- 
struction of this period, he is always interesting and this 
volume would not be complete without some reference to 
his "coming out." It was at Richmond, Va., that the 
writer first saw him; he had been the advance agent of 
Lilian Spencer, an actress who, as Cora in "Article 47" 
which she called "The Creole," began to make great 
strides, when her untimely death brought to an end her 
worthy activities. Ted Marks was engaged by the comic 
opera company long managed by Jules Grau and at once 

*Benjamin Hurtig died February 13, 1909. 

126 jfottg gears 2D&mtratfott 

began those methods of his which really attracted much 
attention. In all the advertising and printing, the top line 
would read as follows: 


This gave the impression that the company was estab- 
lished forty-four years. In Atlanta, Ga., the Constitution 
in referring to the presentation of "La Mascotte" by this 
company said: 

"Mr. Grau advertises that his company is now in its 
forty-fourth year, and from the appearance of the ladies 
of his chorus no one will question the truth of his claim." 

Once when this company was in the Southern part of 
Texas, during a raging yellow fever epidemic, business 
was very bad, and Ted telegraphed to the treasurer of the 
company as follows : "Telegraph me $50, or I can't move." 

To which he received the following reply : 

"If ossified, play museum dates, if not hustle ; any agent 
can travel with money." 

Ted Marks introduced Anna Held in 1896, Yvette Guil- 
bert in 1895, Marie Loyd and many others. 

Max Hirsch, who has been in the box office of the 
Metropolitan Opera House since the night it was first 
opened, twenty-five years ago, by Henry E. Abbey, and 
who after a couple of years became treasurer, began, like 
so many others who afterward reached dignified posi- 
tions, as a libretto boy at the Academy of Music on East 
1 4th Street, in the palmy days of the Brothers Strakosch. 
He first became "Knight of the Box Office" in 1886 at 
William Henderson's Academy of Music, Jersey City, 
after which he came to this city to occupy the same berth 
when Mr. Henderson opened the Standard Theatre on the 
site of the present Manhattan Theatre. He recently cele- 
brated his silver anniversary in the box office; a mag- 
nificent banquet, attended by all the artists of the opera 
company, marked the occasion. 

of 0@u0tc ana tfie Drama 127 


The business department of the theatrical and musical 
arts has, of course, progressed as the decades have ex- 
panded in the inevitable march of time. There was no 
Friars Association in the 6o's, not even a green room 
club; the Lambs and Players were not yet dreamed of. 
The Lotus and Arcadian Clubs were, however, by no 
means inferior to any that to-day bid the players wel- 
come. Though they harbored only a small minority of 
theatrical people, there were then, as now, receptions and 
dinners to noted guests and it was the custom to serenade 
the great foreign stars when they first visited these 

Jacques Offenbach, Tomaso Salvini and Anton Rubin- 
stein were particularly honored in this way, but such 
a dinner and reception as was recently given to Oscar 
Hammerstein by the Friars, at the Hotel Astor, was of 
course not possible at any period of the nineteenth 
century. Yet, in all that gathering which constituted, 
principally, the men who to-day give their brains to 
further the industry of the business and financial side of 
the amusement world, there were few indeed who had 
the business ability which characterized the efforts of the 
"man in advance" of long ago. There were no John 
Rickabys, and where is there to-day another Harry Sar- 
gent ("scarf pin Harry"), and who, indeed, was there at 
this notable function to console us for the loss of Don 
Diego De Vivo? 

The business department of the amusement profession 

128 jfottp gears 2D60ettoation 

in the 6o's and 70*8 too, was far more remunerative than 
it is now. 

It has been stated in another part of these writings that 
J. Fred Zimmerman earned a salary of $1,000 a month as 
far back as 1872 ; surely no one to-day can earn or obtain 
this sum despite the extraordinary development of every- 
thing to warrant it. 

De Vivo also had a similar honorarium and even a 
percentage of the profits in addition ; John Rickaby never 
had less than $150 a week when he was a salaried man. 
John E. Warner, still alive and in harness, was also in 
this class. Others of this calibre were Charles A. Chiz- 
zola, Henry Wertheimer, James W. Morrissey, his 
brother "Starr" and last but not least, Joseph H. Tooker, 
one of the greatest showmen the world has ever known. 

"Commodore" Joe Tooker who was born in 1830 and 
died in 1896, began his remarkable career as the manager 
of Mr. and Mrs. Wnx J. Florence, he having married Mr. 
Florence's sister, Winifred. His first great opportunity 
came when he directed the business affairs of that colossal 
firm of showmen, Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer, at Booth's 
Theatre and Niblo's Garden. Tooker's newspaper adver- 
tisements were always recognizable and have never been 
equalled. Those who recall the manner in which he ex- 
ploited the excursions on the New England steamer, 
"Plymouth Rock" need not be told of the man's versa- 
tility. He amassed great wealth early in his career, and 
purchased a controlling interest in the famous Metro- 
politan job printing company, originally an enterprise of 
James Gordon Bennett's. The men who began with 
Bennett in that enterprise, in the most inferior positions 
have all survived, to become important factors in the 
show printing lines ; among these were Messrs. Richard- 
son and Foos, "Pop" Dillon, Bernard Gillen, Timothy 
Hayes, and George J. Cooke. 

of a&ustc attfc tfle Drama 129 

The last two are, to-day, at the head of decidedly large 
concerns, while looker's son and namesake, Joseph H., 
Jr., is the president of the same Metropolitan Job Print- 
ing Company which has now absorbed the Seer, Thomas 
and Wylie plants.* 

A. S. Seer was the first man to print a coupon ticket 
and, way back in 1867, he had his little den on Fourth 
Street, where tickets were printed for every playhouse in 
America, while Henry Thomas was noted for being the 
first to get out a plain lithographic head of a player. 

Speaking of Tooker naturally leads the writer's 
thoughts to another personage who, unlike Tooker, 
evolved from the show printing field to the theatrical 
arena. Theodore A. Liebler is here referred to and an 
interesting career, indeed, is to be recorded with the 
exploiting of the modest appellation, "Liebler & Co." 
which the indefatigable George C. Tyler never sought to 
change when, in later years, his personal achievements 
were such as justified the placing forward of his own 
illustrious name. 

The term "illustrious" is used advisedly when speaking 
of George C. Tyler, for who indeed, in the amusement 
world, has the last forty years produced more worthy of 
its application? 

Recently, Theodore A. Liebler, undoubtedly in a spirit 
of loyalty and appreciation, when discussing his business 
associates with the writer of these records, said : 

"George C. Tyler became a great producer simply be- 
cause that was the field of his endeavor. He might just 
as well have become a great journalist or a great politi- 
cian, or what not, for whatever he would have under- 
taken, he would certainly have accomplished." 

The writer recalls Tyler in the summer of 1895 or 1896, 

*A consolidation of practically all the show printing concerns 
was effected in June, 1909. 

130 jfottp gears 2D60ettjation 

in Philadelphia, when he and Harry Askin were roaming 
about that city's Rialto, up to a "hustle" of some kind. 
Their financial condition at the time was at least symmet- 
rical ; in other respects they were decidedly well balanced. 
It was said at Zeiss's Hotel on Walnut Street, that which 
ever of the two got out of bed first was the best dressed. 
Something, however, was pending. 

Askin had been one of Col. John McCaull's trusted 
managers and Tyler had handled everything but money. 
A few days later (in August, 1896), this writer had occa- 
sion to run down to Long Branch and there the announce- 
ment of a grand outdoor "As You Like It" performance 
was creating no end of sensation along the whole Atlantic 

To narrate who Tyler had in that cast would be to 
name more stars than the firm of Liebler & Co. ever 
afterwards managed. Suffice to say that, on account of 
a terrific rain storm, a tremendous loss was of necessity 
sustained. Then, George C. Tyler met Theodore A. 
Liebler who had lost his extensive printing and litho- 
graphic establishment, being unable to recover from the 
loss caused by the Park Place disaster. Liebler was 
regarded as a man of means but as he tells it himself 
he had only a few lithographs, a desk saved from the fire, 
a few dollars and unbounded confidence in Tyler's ability. 
However that may be, it is generally believed that Liebler 
had several thousand dollars and Tyler had a few debts. 
Together they met the late Charles Coghlan and here 
indeed was a trio useful to one another. Coghlan who was 
a consummate artist if ever there was one, had not been 
going strong and although always a very high salaried 
man, he was one of those great actors who escape their 
just goal. 

With Coghlan as their first star, the firm of Liebler 
& Company was inaugurated in 1897. At what is now 

of QfJitsic anD tfte Drama 

Keith & Proctor's 5th Avenue Theatre, a production was 
made of "The Royal Box." Success crowned this initial 
effort and a vast producing concern, second to none in 
America, was thus started on a career which in this 
season of 1908-9 finds its activity at the zenith. 

Appended is a statistical record of the achievements of 
Liebler & Co. from 1897 to 

BEGINNING (1897). 

T.S. Tremendous success. Earned from $50,000 to $250,000 

S. Successful. Earned from . . 5,000 to 50,000 
A.S. Artistic success. About even. 

F. Financial failure. Lost from . . 5,000 to 65,000 

1897-8 Charles Coghlan in "The Royal Box," an adap- 
tation of Dumas' "Kean." S. 
1898-9 Viola Allen in "The Christian," by Hall Caine. 

James O'Neill in "The Musketeers," by Sydney 

Grundy. S. 
1899-0 "The Children of the Ghetto," by Israel Zang- 

will. A.S. 
1900-1 "The Choir Invisible," by James Lane Allen. 

"Unleavened Bread," by Judge Robert Grant. 


"In the Palace of the King," by F. Marion Craw- 
ford. T.S. 
James Herne in "Sag Harbor," by James Herne. 

"The Greatest Thing in the World," with Sarah 

Cowell LeMoyne. A.S. 
"The Moment of Death," by Israel Zangwill. S. 

132 jfottg gears S)60ertmtion 

"The Land of Heart's Desire," by William But- 
ler Yeats. A.S. 

"In a Balcony," by Robert Browning. S. 

"A Gentleman of France," with Kyrle Bellew, 
by Weyman & Presbrey. S. 

First American tour of Mrs. Patrick Campbell, 
in repertoire. S. 

James O'Neill in an elaborate revival of "Monte 
Cristo." S. 

American tour of La Pressa. 

1901-2 "The School for Scandal," revival, all star cast. 

"The Hunchback," with Viola Allen, by J. Sher- 
idan Knowles. S. 

"The First Duchess of Marlborough," with 
Sarah Co well LeMoyne, by Charles Meltzer. 
1902-3 "The Vinegar Buyer," with Ezra Kendal. S. 

First American tour of Eleanor Duse, in reper- 
toire. S. 

"The Sacrament of Judas," with Kyrle Bellew. 

"The Eternal City," with Viola Allen, by Hall 
Caine. T.S. 

"Audrey," with Eleanor Robson, by Mary John- 
son. S. 

Revival of "Romeo and Juliet," star cast. S. 

"Lost River." S. 

'Weatherbeaten Benson," with Ezra Kendal. 

"The Manxman," by Hall Caine. F. 
1903-4 Joint tour of Ada Rehan and Otis Skinner, in 
classic repertoire. T.S. 

"Merely Mary Ann," with Miss Eleanor Robson, 
by Israel Zangwill. T.S. 

of 6u0ic attD t&e Drama 133 

"Raffles," with Kyrle Bellew, by Hornung and 

Presbrey. T.S. 
"Adventures of Brigadier Gerard," with James 

O'Neill, by Conan Doyle. A.S. 
"The Gentleman from Indiana," with Edward J. 

Morgan, by Booth Tarkington. A.S. 
"The Honor of the Humble," with James 

O'Neill, by Harriet Ford. A.S. 
1904-5 First American tour of Gabrielle Re jane, in 

repertoire. A.S.F. 

All star revival of "The Two Orphans." T.S. 
"Under Cover," by Edward Harrigan. F. 
First American tour of Ellis Jeffreys in "The 

Prince Consort." A.S.F. 
"You Never Can Tell," with Arnold Daly, by 

G. B. Shaw. T.S. 
"Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," by Alice 

Hegan Rice and Anne Crawford Flexner. 

Special revival of "She Stoops to Conquer." All 

star cast. T.S. 
Special revival of "London Assurance," all star 

cast. S. 
"Agatha," with Eleanor Robson, by Mrs. 

Humphrey Ward. A.S. 

"The Barnstormer," with Ezra Kendal. A.S.F. 
"In the Bishop's Carriage," by Channing Pol- 
lock. S. 
1905-6 "The Prodigal Son," by Hall Caine. A.S.F. 

"The Fascinating Mr. Vanderbilt" with Ellis 

Jeffreys, by Alfred Sutro. A.S.F. 
"The Vanderbilt Cup." S. 
"The Squaw Man," with William Faversham, by 

Edwin M. Royle. T.S. 

134 jfortp gears Dbgertmtfon 

"The Girl Who Has Everything," with Eleanor 

Robson, by Clyde Fitch. S. 
"Cape Cod Folks." F. 
"Susan in Search of a Husband," with Eleanor 

Robson, by Jerome K. Jerome. S. 
1906-7 "Nurse Marjorie," with Eleanor Robson, by 

Israel Zangwill. S. 
"She Stoops to Conquer," with W. H. Crane and 

Ellis Jeffreys. T.S. 
"A Tenement Tragedy," with Eleanor Robson, 

by Clotilde Graves. S. 
"Salomy Jane," with Eleanor Robson, by Paul 

Armstrong. S. 

"The Dear Unfair Sex," with Ellis Jeffreys. F. 
"Sir Anthony," by Haddon Chambers. A.S.F. 
"The Magic Melody," with Walker Whiteside, 

by Gordon Keane. 
1907-8 "The Man from Home," by Booth Tarkington 

and Harry Leon Wilson. T.S. 
"Irene Wycherley," with Viola Allen, by A. P. 

Wharton. A.S. 
Albert Chevalier and Yvette Guilbert, tour. 


"Electra," with Mrs. Patrick Campbell. A.S.F. 
"The Regeneration," with Arnold Daly, by Kil- 

dare and Hackett. A.S.F. 

"Going Some," with George Marion, by Arm- 
strong and Beach. A.S. 

1908-9 "The Battle," with Wilton Lackaye, by Cleve- 
land Moffett. S. 
"The Melting Pot," with Walker Whiteside, by 

Israel Zangwill. T.S. 
"The White Sister," with Viola Allen, by Marion 

Crawford and Walter Hackett. S. 

of 0@u0ic ana tfte Drama 135 

"The Dawn of a To-morrow," with Eleanor Rob- 
son, by Mrs. F. Hodgson Burnett. T.S. 

"Vera the Medium," with Eleanor Robson, by 
Richard Harding Davis. S. 

"Cameo Kirby," with Dustin Farnum, by Tark- 
ington and Wilson. S. 

"The Man from Home," second company. S. 

"Miss Phillura," by Henry Blossom. 

"Blue Grass," with George Marion, by Paul 
Armstrong. F. 

"The Renegade," with William Farnum, by Paul 
Armstrong. A.S. 

"The Strong People," with Arnold Daly, by C. 
M. S. McLellan. S. 

"The Head of the House," with Ada Lewis, by 
Edward W. Townsend and Frank Ward 

Liebler and Company made many Spring revivals with 
noted casts. In the Spring of 1900 Brownings "In a Bal- 
cony" was profitably given with Eleanor Robson, Otis 
Skinner and Mrs. le Moyne. In 1902 Knowles* "The 
Hunchback" with Miss Allen as Julia, Eben Plympton as 
Master Walter, Aubrey Boucicault as Clifford, and Jame- 
son Lee Finney as Modus. In 1903, came "Romeo and 
Juliet" with Eleanor Robson as Juliet, Kyrle Bellew as 

*The reader is informed that the extended space devoted to 
the records achieved by Liebler and Company is due to the im- 
pression of the author that the importance of the many pro- 
ductions of this firm and the unusual excellence and significance 
of the three plays now enjoying lengthy runs at leading Metro- 
politan theatres, promise great things to the firm's future opera- 
tions, and fully justify the placing on record of a full recital of 
all that has been achieved by them up to the present time. 

136 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtton 

Romeo, Eben Plympton as Mercutio, W. H. Thompson as 
Friar Laurence and Edwin Arden, John E. Kellard, Ed- 
mund Breese, Forrest Robinson, George Clarke, Frank C. 
Bangs, W. J. Ferguson, Ada Dwyer and Mrs. W. G. 
Jones in the company. In 1904 came "The Two Or- 
phans," in which Liebler & Co. were associated with 
others, with Kyrle Bellew, James O'Neil, Charles Warner, 
Grace George, Clara Morris, Margaret Illington, Fred- 
erick Perry, E. M. Holland, Annie Irish, Jameson Lee 
Finney, Clara Blandick and others. When this play was 
taken on tour the following season with James O'Neill, 
Grace George, Clara Morris, J. E. Dodson, Louis James, 
Jameson Lee Finney, Mrs. Le Moyne, Bijou Fernandez, 
William Beach, etc., it was entirely under Liebler & Com- 
pany's management. In 1905 Liebler & Co. had two 
other all-star revivals, "She Stoops to Conquer" with 
Kyrle Bellew, Eleanor Robson, Louis James, J. E. Dod- 
son, Sydney Drew, Isabel Irving, Mrs. Calvert (the Mrs. 
Gilbert of England), Frank Mills, etc., and "London As- 
surance" with Ellis Jeffries, Eben Plympton, W. H. 
Thompson, James Neil, Ida Conquest, Ben Webster, 
Murray Carson, Herbert Sleath, Kate Phillips (the last 
four being English), Jos. Wheelock, Jr., etc. In 1906 
there was no special revival; in 1907 there was a revival 
of "She Stoops to Conquer," under the joint management 
of Chas. Frohman and Liebler & Company, with Ellis 
Jeffries as Kate, W. H. Crane as Hardcastle, George 
Giddens, the English comedian, as Tony, and Margaret 
Dale, Walter Hale, Herbert Sleath, Fanny Addison Pitt, 
Fred Thorne, Clarence Handyside, etc. This revival was 
not seen in New York. Last year the production of 
"Electra" with Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Mrs. Beerbohm 
Tree, Ben Webster and Chas. Dalton took the place of 
the usual revival. 
Liebler & Company may be proud of the fine perform- 

of figustc anD t&e Drama 137 

ances given by Ada Rehan and Otis Skinner under their 
management in 1903-4. 

It is but fair to relate of the foregoing record that 
Liebler & Co. have always possessed the real artistic 
instinct, and in their relations with Duse, Rejane, the 
elder Salvini and others of equal artistic worth, their 
efforts were prompted solely by a desire to show public 
spirit and to raise the standard of their productions. 
Profit was out of the question in these undertakings, 
particularly in the case of Tomaso Salvini. The firm 
fearing that it would break the great Italian tragedian's 
heart should he meet with failure, in the year of depres- 
sion for which they had signed him for twenty-five repre- 
sentations, cabled and advised a postponement of the 

Whatever was Salvini's view, it is known that he sued 
the firm and obtained judgment for $20,000 for twenty 
performances at $1,000 a night. Salvini, who is consid- 
ered a millionaire, has always been noted for financial 
greed. When he came here in 1872-73, under Maurice 
Grau, despite the fact that his Othello created a furore, it 
was impossible to make a profit, he refusing to play more 
than three times a week and only once a week in 

The Liebler Company also had a misunderstanding 
with Ermete Novelli, the Italian actor who came out here 
twice with his own company, and here too the American 
firm advised postponement or cancellation. Novelli had 
agreed to furnish scenery for his repertoire of about 
twenty plays. It occurred to Liebler & Co. that as Italian 
scenery is painted on paper, they, consequently, would 
not be able to use it in this country, on account of the 
stringent fire laws. The time was too short to paint new 
scenery. Novelli received the cablegram advising can- 
cellation, stayed at home, and, probably recalling Salvini's 

138 Jfottp gears 2D60ettmtion 

experience, instituted suit but in this instance Liebler & 
Co. settled with the Italian actor out of court. 

The greed of some of these foreign stars is simply un- 
believable. Salvini's claim to Czarship in the matter of 
economy is so well known that a record of it need not be 
expanded upon; besides his great artistic work is of far 
more interest to posterity. Yet it should be said that 
another of his illustrious compatriots, the great Fran- 
cesco Tamagno was actually known to sell to ticket 
speculators and others the ten seats for each of his 
operatic performances given under the direction of 
Messrs. Abbey and Grau. In Europe these seats are 
given to provide a claque but here in America, Tamagno 
hardly cared enough for the soothing applause to sacrifice 
the $40 to $50 a night that these seats would bring him. 

Ernesto Rossi, who like Tomaso Salvini and Adelaide 
Ristori, when he finally came to America was supported 
by an American company, was decidedly reluctant to 
visit these shores at all. His first contract with Maurice 
Grau was cancelled in 1876 by the payment to the latter 
of a forfeit of $20,000, which was fortunate for him, first, 
because Maurice had just suffered a serious reverse with 
Jacques Offenbach, the father of opera bouffe, and sec- 
ondly, because when Rossi did come many years after- 
ward his tour was far from successful. His Hamlet over 
which Paris raved, was coldly received here despite the 
fact that the critics of several important Metropolitan 
dailies compared the Italian's Hamlet with the Othello 
of the illustrious Salvini.* 

In 1878 Jarrett and Palmer with that daring which 
characterized their entire managerial career entered into 
active negotiations for the appearance in America of all 
three of these famous foreign players. The plan was to 

*Salvini and Ristori were supported by American companies 
after their first toumees. 

of 9@u0ic artO t&e Drama 139 

present Shakespeare's "Macbeth** with Salvini as 
Macbeth, Rossi as Macduff and Ristori as Lady Macbeth. 
The expenses would have been about $5,000 a night, 
and at that would have yielded a profit, but the enterprise 
was abandoned because of the ill health of Harry Palmer, 
also because Joseph Brooks and James B. Dickson held 
a conflicting contract with Adelaide Ristori for an Ameri- 
can tour the following year. 

The name of HOLLAND has always been a potent one 
in the stage world as long back as can be recalled. The 
elder Holland's (George Sr.) career has not often been 
duplicated and the testimonial benefit which was tendered 
him was one of a half dozen such events in American 
stage history. George Holland, Sr., was born in Decem- 
ber, 1791, and for nearly four score years he lived (having 
departed this life in December 1870) an exemplary life. 
All of his artistic achievements were brought forth under 
circumstances often so adverse, that players who hold 
sway in these more propitious times, may marvel, and 
indeed calculate as to what measure of financial reward 
would have come to him had his era been that of the 
present. Mrs. George Holland (Catharine) was born in 
May, 1827, and died in April, 1903. These two left three 
sons, George, Joseph and Edmund M. Holland, their 
sister, Kate Holland, having expired at the early age of 
twenty-two. George Holland, although handicapped by 
severe deafness, gave, at all times, an excellent account 
of himself as a player, but his managerial ambitions were 
not always rewarded to the degree hoped for, and mpny 
vicissitudes have been encountered by him during his 
long career. The brothers Joseph and E. M. have had 
careers fully in line with the family record, and have both 
been noted for their strongly marked character studies 
and the sterling perfection of thought given to each role 
as interpreted by them. They starred together one 

140 jFottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

season, a perhaps unfortunate procedure, since this 
writer cannot recall that the best results, financially, have 
ever befallen the efforts of co-stars. The public at all 
periods having a decided preference to enthuse over one 
individuality and to rave over one great personality. 

When Clara Morris was prevailed upon to appear 
with the great Tomaso Salvini, no amount of explana- 
tions and no caution displayed in the announcements 
could prevent the public from assuming that the great 
emotional actress had descended from the stellar position, 
then so supreme, to support the tremendous Italian actor. 
At any rate, the vogue of Clara Morris was never so 
great from that time on, and although this writer is 
merely expressing his observations, it can be fairly 
stated that the combination of Booth, Barrett, Bangs and 
Davenport the greatest amalgamation of artistic grand- 
eur the world has ever witnessed worked harm to the 
individual artists when they sought to resume the ordi- 
nary method of presenting themselves to the public. 

John McCullough, who had been a manager even be- 
fore he had achieved great fame, and who reached his 
high station by an almost herculean struggle, always 
held aloof from these combinations, and even went so far 
as to inform Maurice Grau, who was the manager to first 
contribute to his financial success, that he would not ap- 
pear with Adelaide Ristori, even for one performance, 
because in his opinion the effect would be to reduce the 
commercial value of the lesser celebrity of the two. 

As for the polyglot representations, where one player 
would render in one language and his associate players in 
another, outside of Salvini and Ernesto Rossi, the effort 
has not been made, because the financial results have 
not justified the encouragement, and from an artistic 
standpoint, nothing praiseworthy can be said of it. It is 
to the credit of Eleanora Duse and Ermete Novelli that 

of S@u0tc attD tfie Drama 141 

they have permitted this public to see them with the 
"mise-en-scene" and entourage that furthered their fame 
at home. 

The public has always shown strong characteristics in 
this country, and it is remarkable that no contralto ever 
achieved great potency. 'Tis true that Anna Louise 
Gary, Zelda Seguin, Adelaide Phillips, and a few others 
became popular, but not until Ernestine Schumann-Heink 
came into great favor was it possible for any contralto to 
head an organization at high prices for seats and obtain 
great financial profit. In this instance it is doubtful if 
the status of the contralto in this respect is in any way 
changed, since in the case of the great German singer a 
remarkable chain of circumstances made for her a great 
name; a striking individuality causes her vogue to be 
constant and potent. 

Miss Blanche Walsh has reached her stellar height by 
incessant effort and a legitimate desire to alight at the 
top. Her early struggles were almost in vain, and at 
the outset she was not able to command serious consid- 
eration, it being questionable whether the fact that she 
was the daughter of the famous politician, John C. 
(Fatty) Walsh, was advantageous to her welfare. How- 
ever that may be, success came unmistakably when, some 
years ago, she appeared at what is now Hammerstein's 
Victoria Theatre in "The Resurrection" by Count Tol- 

Madge Carr Cook was born in Lancashire, England, 
the daughter, grand-daughter and mother of actresses. 
She married a well-to-do resident of her native town by 
the name of Robson, and bore him a daughter, Eleanor. 
She came to America after his death, where she played 
principally with various stock and permanent repertoire 
companies and is best known for her work in Amelia 
Bingham's Company, with which she appeared in "The 

142 Jfortg gears 

Climbers," "A Modern Magdalene" and "The Frisky Mrs. 
Johnson." Then she created her most famous part, the 
title role in "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch." She 
played this part for five seasons in this country and two 
in England. 

Eleanor Robson was born in Wigan, Lancashire, Eng- 
land. She was bred in a convent near Fort Wadsworth, 
Staten Island, where she was prepared for an education in 
art. She first appeared on the stage at the Columbia The- 
atre, San Francisco, September 15, 1897, as Margery 
Knox in "Men and Women" in Daniel Frawley's stock 
company. She became the regular ingenue with this com- 
pany, with which she visited Honolulu; she then played 
several "stock" seasons in Denver and Milwaukee, play- 
ing, among other parts, the heroine in Bret Harte's "Sue." 
She next appeared as Bonita in "Arizona," first in Chi- 
cago and then in New York (September 10, 1900, at the 
Herald Square Theatre). On October 26th of the same 
year she appeared at Wallack's Theatre as Constance in 
a special matinee of Browning's "In a Balcony," in which 
Otis Skinner and Mrs. Le Moyne also appeared.. A spe- 
cial Spring tour in this play with the same co-star fol- 
lowed her regular season. Her first regular appearance, 
under the management of Liebler & Co., was in Leo Die- 
trichstein's dramatization of Judge Grant's "Unleavened 
Bread," in which she was Flossie Williams (Savoy Thea- 
tre, January 26, 1901). The following season she was 
Kyrle Bellew's leading lady in "A Gentleman of France," 
playing Mile, de la Vire (Wallack's, January, 1902). In 
the course of this engagement at Wallack's Miss Robson 
appeared with Mr. Bellew in the balcony scene from 
"Romeo and Juliet" at one of the Saturday matinees. In 
May 1902 she was featured in the title role of "Audrey," 
Harriet Ford's dramatization of Mary Johnson's novel 
of that name. In the Spring of 1903 she appeared as Ju- 


As Juliet. 

of ^u0ic anD tfte Drama 143 

liet in an all-star revival. I consider this her most 
notable achievement. 

The following season was her first in Zang will's "Mere- 
ly Mary Ann" (Garrick, December 29, 1903, Duke of 
York's, London, September 8, 1904). Her second ap- 
pearance with an all-star cast was as Kate Hardcastle 
in "She Stoops to Conquer" (New Amsterdam Theatre, 
April 17, 1905). She spent practically the entire season 
of 1906-7 at the Liberty Theatre, New York, playing 
Zangwill's "Nurse Marjorie" (October 3d), Jerome and 
Presbery's "Susan in Search of a Husband," preceded by 
Clothilde Grave's one act, "A Tenement Tragedy" (No- 
vember 20th), Fitch's "The Girl Who Has Everything" 
(December 4th), and Paul Armstrong's "Salomy Jane" 
(January 19, 1907), as well as giving a number of special 
matinees of "Merely Mary Ann." 

Last season she toured in "Salomy Jane." This year 
she began her season with Richard Harding Davis* 
spiritualistic play, "Vera, The Medium," which has been 
very successful. 

Mr. H. B. Warner, the son of Charles Warner, famous 
for his performances in Zola's "Drink," was carried on 
the stage, while an infant, in the wonderful fire scene in 
"The Streets of London." He studied at Oxford; he 
made his first hit as the Rev. Mr. Eden, the young prison 
chaplain in "It's Never Too Late To Mend"; played 
Athos to his father's d'Artagnan, and was leading man 
for Lewis Waller in several productions. He was lead- 
ing man in "The Absent-Minded Beggar" for Marie 
Tempest. He then came to this country to act as leaJ- 
ing man for Miss Eleanor Robson, appearing for a sea- 
son as Lancelot in "Merely Mary Ann"; then, during the 
season ('06-7) at the Liberty Theatre, in Zangwill's 
"Nurse Marjorie," "A Tenement Tragedy" (in which he 
scored heavily) ; "Susan in Search of a Husband," "The 

144 jfortp gears 2D60ettiation 

Girl Who Has Everything," and "Salomy Jane," in 
which he played The Man all last season. This season 
he created the role of Philip Ames with Wilton Lackaye 
in "The Battle," then returned to Miss Robson's Com- 
pany to play the lead in "Vera, The Medium," on the 
road, and again returned to "The Battle" to play his 
original part throughout the play's New York run. Next 
season he will be starred.* 

Walker Whiteside was born in Indiana. He conceived 
a youthful ambition to play "Hamlet," and organized a 
company, appearing at McVicker's, Chicago, at the age 
of seventeen; at the Union Square, New York, at the 
age of nineteen he was "hailed" as a youthful prodigy. 
From that time till recently he had been lost to the sight 
of big cities, barnstorming in Shakespearean and roman- 
tic plays, chiefly of his own construction, in the small 
towns of the Middle West. He has recently been re- 
claimed and starred in Zangwill's remarkable play "The 
Melting Pot." 

Viola Allen (Mrs. Peter Duryea), daughter of C. Les- 
lie Allen, actor, was born in Alabama, October 27, 1869. 
She stepped from school right into a leading part, suc- 
ceeding Annie Russell in "Esmeralda" at the Union 
Square, July 4, 1882. In 1884 she was John McCullough's 
leading lady in "Virginius," "The Gladiator," "Othello" 
and "Richard III." Then she appeared in "Alpine 
Roses" and as Pompon in "La Charbonniere." Her com- 
plete record follows : 
May 10, 1884 W. E. Sheridan's leading lady in "The 

Pulse of New York" star. 

April 7, 1885 Madeleine in "Dakolar" at the Lyceum. 
During 1886 Leading Lady for Tomaso Salvini. 

*Charles Warner died in January, 1909. 

of fi^usic attD tfie Drama 

March 19, 1888 Nance and Jess in "Hoodman Blind" at 

the Grand Opera House, New York dual role. 
September g, 1889 Gertrude Ellingham in "Shenan- 

doah" at the Star. 
1890 With Jos. Jefferson and W. J. Florence as Lydia 

Languish in "The Rivals" and Cicely Homespun in 

"The Heir at Law." 
1891 In "The Merchant" at the Madison Square. 

1892 In "Aristocracy" at Palmer's. 

1893 Joined Chas. Frohman's Empire Theatre Co. and 
played the leading parts in "Liberty Hall," "The 
Younger Son," "The Counsellor's Wife," "Sowing 
the Wind," "Gudgeons," "The Masqueraders," John- 
a-Dreams," "The Importance of Being Earnest," 
"Michael and His Lost Angel," "A Woman's Rea- 
son," "Marriage," "Bohemia," "The Highwayman," 
"Under the Red Robe," "A Man and His Wife," and 
"The Conquerors." 

September 1898 Began her career as a Liebler & Co. 

star as Glory Quayle in "The Christian." 
Season 1900-1, 1901-2 Dolores in F. Marion Crawford's 

"In the Palace of the King." 
Spring of 1902 Julia in J. Sheridan Knowles' "The 

Season of 1902-3 Roma in Hall Caine's "The Eternal 


1903-4 Under her own management in "Twelfth Night." 
1905-6 Clyde Fitch's "The Toast of the Town." 
1904-5 "A Winter's Tale." 
1906-7 "Cymbeline." 
December 31, 1907, Baltimore; January 21, 1908, Astor 

Theatre, New York, reappeared as Liebler & Co. 

star in Anthony P. Wharton's "Irene Wycherley." 

146 JFottp gears 2D&0erfcation 

! 908-9 Sister Giovanna in "The White Sister," by F. 
Marion Crawford and Walter Hackett, with William 
Farnum featured in her support. 

Lewis Morrison was a prominent actor long before he 
ever thought of playing Mephistopheles, a role in which 
he was pronounced unequalled, and from which he 
amassed a large fortune. Though his long identification 
with this character caused him to become so thoroughly 
imbued with the spirit of the cynical Evil One that in 
the last ten years of his life he was utterly unable to at- 
tract the public in any other offering, despite the fact 
that on several occasions he made worthy efforts to 
shift the scene of his activity. Morrison married Rose 
Wood early in his career, and an excellent actress as well 
as an estimable woman was she. A daughter by this 
marriage, Rosabel, was the Gretchen of her father's 
"Faust" productions; at this time she is using the para- 
phernalia and complete equipment which he had accumu- 
lated with some success, on tour. 

Morrison was not the only well-known actor who spe- 
cialized the Goethe devil. Joseph Callahan, in particular, 
rarely played anything else, and it was on this account 
that he was undoubtedly selected by Manager James D. 
Barton not only to appear in the title role of the Savage 
version of "The Devil" but he also assumed charge of 
the entire artistic department of all of the four companies 
organized to tour the country in this much advertised 

It is recalled that more than twenty years ago Callahan 
was presenting in a Minneapolis variety theatre an act 
called "Great Men Past and Present," in which he as- 
sumed the characters of famous native and foreign per- 
sonages in costume, making all the changes of same, in- 
cluding wigs, etc., in full view of the audience. This 
statement is made here for the purpose of defending 

of S@tt0tc anD t&e Drama 147 

Callahan from any charge that he had emulated the act 
presented by Henry Lee with such remarkable success. 

Tim Murphy, a player who is gifted with a wealth of 
artistic thought and conception, like many other stars of 
to-day, began in the varieties. A quarter of a century 
ago he was a favorite at Tony Pastor's Theatre, in East 
1 4th Street, where he gave imitations of the leading stars 
of that period, such as Stuart Robson, who, by the way, 
was a veritable boon to the mimic, his remarkable voice 
and personality readily lending themselves to the imi- 
tator's will. Murphy, however, was like Nat C. Goodwin, 
a real mimic and did not seek to obtain prestige and 
wealth by appropriating long and potent scenes from a 
player's album. These men were artists whose mimicy 
was genuine and carefully studied. They rarely used 
more than a dozen words for each character and never 
occupied over a moment to depict a single impersonation, 
if these pages serve the purpose of suggesting a limit line 
to so-called imitators of to-day, they will not be printed 
wholly in vain. 

Mathilde Cottrelly could write a volume of reminis- 
cences that would be a valued addition to stage literature. 
The writer cannot hope to do justice to her remarkable 
and important life achievements in the space that is avail- 
able here. Her first prominence was of course in the 
German theatres of New York, and she helped to make 
history for all of these. "Cotty," as she was known to 
her intimates, played the most important roles under 
Adolph Neuendorff at the Germania Theatre when it 
was at 1 3th Street and Broadway, and the history of the 
Thalia Theatre on the Bowery, during its career as a 
Deutsches Theatre, is replete with chroniclings of this 
exquisite artist's efforts. She afterwards became its man- 
ageress, and it was under her regime at the Thalia that 
Gustav Amberg became conspicuous. Mme. Cottrelly 

148 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

was undoubtedly the most versatile artiste that the his- 
tory of the German Theatre of New York can record. 
One of her greatest roles was in "Die Naeherin" (The 
Seamstress), which she also later used as a stellar vehi- 
cle on the English stage, at the Wallack Theatre of the 
present day. 

When Col. John A. McCaull entered the field of light 
opera, he engaged Cottrelly, and from the very outset 
she became his mainstay. She selected the operas, staged 
them, was his chief organizer, and even designed the cos- 
tumes. It is to the credit of the redoubtable colonel that 
he never failed to give "Cotty" credit for the success 
which came to him when in the halcyon days of the 
Casino, a period that it is a pleasure to recall. He be- 
came the foremost producer of real comic opera in this 
country. Madame Cottrelly in recent years has always 
found herself in demand for portrayals of roles where dis- 
tinctive character is to be delineated; at present she is a 
valued member of Louis Mann's company. 

When Ogla Nethersole presented "Sappho" at Wai- 
lack's, the production created a great upheaval, there 
having arisen many protests against its presentation. 
The theatre was closed for several weeks, pending a re- 
view of the merits of the case, an injunction having been 
granted which caused the play to be withdrawn in the 
height of its success. It is recalled by the writer that the 
same Charles Burnham, who has so industriously posed 
as a stage moralist in connection with the present agita- 
tion against prevailing indecency in plays, was manager 
of Wallack's at the time, and he fought with the utmost 
vigor against the court injunction, which was finally set 
aside and the run of "Sappho" was resumed, but with 
less remunerative results at the box-office. It must be 
stated here that much of the success which came to the 
production of "Sappho" was due to the peculiarly fitful 

of Q^usic anD tfte Drama 149 

and very forceful portrayal of the role of Jean by Hamil- 
ton Revelle. No player has ever equaled him in this 
character. He was wholly suited to it by nature, and 
his conception, as well as his picturesque appearance, 
gave to his presentation a distinction that was wholly 
absent when the role was in other hands. 

That the old-school theatrical manager was really 
something more than the figure head which to-day one 
finds in charge of provincial, and even in metropolitan 
theatres, none can deny, and these men were called upon 
to help each other as well as to help the combination 
manager, who, in olden times, had a hard road to travel. 
This condition was so prevalent in the 70*5 that only a 
few of the most distinguished stars were able to meet 
their obligations without aid from the friendly local 
managers, and often stars of great renown, and their com- 
panies, were tided over and carried from one city to 
another through the generosity of the managers of that 
period. In Buffalo the principal theatre was conducted 
by two big-hearted, whole-souled men named the Meech 
Brothers, and their generosity was so pronounced that 
whenever any one in the theatrical field was found to be 
ungrateful or persistently finding fault with their treat- 
ment, it would call forth the expression, "Some actors 
would find fault with even the Meech Brothers." 

Lincoln A. Wagenhals, senior member of the firm of 
Wagenhals and Kemper was born at Lancaster, Ohio, on 
April u, 1869; Collin Kemper, junior member of the firm 
was born at Cincinnati, Ohio on February 17, 1870. 

In 1893 their present partnership was formed for the 
presentation of a stock company at the Stone Opera 
House, Binghamton, N. Y., which created the era of 
summer stock companies in America. During this sum- 
mer the firm produced thirty-two plays, showing a profit 
of a little over $3,000. During the season the embryo 

150 jfottp gears fl)tJ0ertmttcm 

firm made a contract to star Louis James in legitimate 
repertoire the following year. In the intervening summer 
they conducted, with much success, a stock season at the 
Coates Opera House, Kansas City, Mo. and, that fall, 
took Louis James on tour. 

Since that time the firm has managed many stars in- 
cluding the late Mme. Rhea and the triple alliance of 
Louis James, Kathryn Kidder and Frederick Warde. 
With this combination they produced "School for Scan- 
dal," "Macbeth," "Othello" and "Julius Caesar." The 
next year the firm produced "The Winter's Tale." This 
was possibly the biggest Shakespeare comedy production 
that has ever been given in this country. The leading 
players were Louis James, Kathryn Kidder and Charles 
B. Hanford. 

Following this effort, they produced, "Richard Savage," 
with Henry Miller as principal actor. The same season 
they sent Mme. Modjeska on tour in a repertoire which 
included "Marie Stuart," "Macbeth," and "King John," 
the latter being the first production, in America, of 
Shakespearian tragedy. At the same time they had on 
the road a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," 
with Louis James and Kathryn Kidder as stellar lights. 

Another year went by and they produced a play by 
Collin Kemper and Rupert Hughes called "Alexander 
the Great," with Louis James and Frederick Warde at the 
head of the company; the same season they produced 
"Salambo," by Stanislaus Stange, with Blanche Walsh in 
the leading role. The same year Miss Walsh starred in 
"The Resurrection," at Hammerstein's Victoria. 

Since then the productions of the firm have been "The 
Kreutzer Sonata," "The Woman in the Case," "The 
Straight Road" with Blanche Walsh, "Friend Hanna," 
"A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Stronger Sex" 
with Annie Russell as the star, and Eugene Walter's 

of S0u0tc anD tfie Drama isi 

"Paid in Full," five companies of which are on tour in 
the United States, and which has a production in every 
country supporting an English speaking playhouse. 

In 1905 Wagenhals and Kemper secured a lease of the 
Astor Theatre, one of the handsomest playhouses in New 
York, which was dedicated with a stupendous production 
of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," with Annie Russell 
in the role of Puck, and which has since been conducted 
as one of the high-class theatres of New York. 

Forty years ago Manager James L. Kernan, entered 
upon a fight for supremacy in the theatrical world, and 
to-day he is the proprietor and manager of the Kernan 
Triple Enterprises, which is conceded to be the greatest 
combination of buildings of its kind in the world. In 1868 
Mr. Kernan went to Europe on a business trip and some 
months later returned to Baltimore when began his 
theatrical career. 

His brother Eugene, had advanced the lessee of the old 
Washington Hall, some money, about the return of which 
he was in doubt. Jas. L. Kernan was placed in charge 
of the place in the capacity of receiver ; at the end of the 
second week the original lessee disappeared and left it all 
on his hands. He then assumed the role of manager in 
earnest and continued as such until 1872 when the build- 
ing was burned down. It was rebuilt the following year 
and again opened to the public as a burlesque house, with 
Mr. Kernan in charge. 

In 1890 he came into control of the Holiday Street 
Theatre, together with Messrs. George W. Rife and 
George Houck; later, he acquired the old Auditorium 
which he conducted for a number of years with great 
success. He also acquired large interests in the Lyceum 
and Lafayette Theatres, Washington, D. C., the Lafayette 
Square Theatre, Buffalo, N. Y., the Bijou Theatre Phila- 
delphia, the Folly Theatre, Chicago, and a number of 

152 jfortp gears 2D&0ertmttem 

other houses. He was elected vice president of The Em- 
pire Circuit of burlesque productions. Then came the 
project of the great enterprise over which he now pre- 
sides. The Maryland Theatre was completed first, then 
the Auditorium and last the magnificent Hotel Kernan. 
With the opening of his new enterprise, Manager Kernan 
withdrew from his other interests in order that he might 
devote his whole time and energies to the personal man- 
agement and supervision of his playhouses and hotel. 

John L. Kerr was born the 28th day of February, 1850, 
on a farm near New Castle, Pa. He joined Sherry's New 
York Theatre Company as treasurer in 1870; in 1876 he 
became associated with Sam T. Jack in the organization 
of the "oil" region circuit," which comprised some six 
or eight theatres in the then prosperous oil country. Dur- 
ing 1877-1878-1879 he was associated with Mr. Jack in the 
management of the celebrated comedian John T. Ray- 

In 1879, when Mr. Jack was succeeded in the oil region 
by the firm of Wagner & Reis, Kerr remained as general 
manager. In 1907 the circuit was incorporated as the 
Reis Circuit Company with Mr. Reis as president and 
treasurer, Kerr vice president and general manager, which 
position he now holds. He has more or less successfully 
battled with the theatrical business over a third of a cen- 
tury, and has been an important factor in bringing the 
circuit from five or six houses to a number exceeding one 
hundred and forty theatres. At the present time he has 
absolute control of the local management of the entire 

Mr. Sam H. Harris, manager, was born in the lower 
part of Manhattan in New York in 1872. He was em- 
ployed in various mercantile pursuits up to the time he 
was seventeen, when he became manager of a large steam 
laundry. He then became interested in the pugilistic 

of 09ii0tc anD tfie Drama 153 

destinies of Terry Me Govern, the featherweight fighter 
whose many victories won, for both of them, fame and 
money. It was while interested in the management of 
McGovern that Mr. Harris bought a half interest in 
"The Gay Morning Glories," a burlesque organization in 
which McGovern was the star attraction. 

He afterward starred the pugilist in a melodrama called 
"The Bowery After Dark." The success of that tour 
encouraged Mr. Harris to invest largely in melodramatic 
attractions of the better class, and the firm of Sullivan, 
Harris & Woods was the outcome. This firm produced 
many melodramas on a large scale, the most successful 
being "The Fatal Wedding." 

While on a pleasure trip, Mr. Harris became acquainted 
with George M. Cohan. The two became fast friends 
and, shortly afterwards, business associates. The firm of 
Cohan & Harris was formed, and these successful plays 
from the pen of Mr. Cohan have been presented : "Little 
Johnny Jones," "Forty-five Minutes From Broadway," 
"George Washington, Jr.," a new edition of "The Gov- 
ernor's Son," "Fifty Miles From Boston," "The Honey- 
mooners," "The Talk of New York," "The Yankee 
Prince," and "The American Idea." 

Mort H. Singer, manager of the Princess and La Salle 
Theatres and director of the Princess Amusement Com- 
pany, of Chicago, is one of the youngest of the successful 
managers of this country ; he has built up an organization 
which includes two producing houses in Chicago, and 
road companies with an aggregate membership of nearly 
seven hundred people. 

Mr. Singer was born in Milwaukee and became treas- 
urer of a theatre in that city soon after leaving high 
school. He managed a road attraction one season, and 
returned to Milwaukee to manage the theatre in which 
he had served as treasurer. Later, he managed houses at 

154 jFortp gears 

St. Paul and Minneapolis and, four years ago, secured 
control of the La Salle Theatre, Chicago, which he trans- 
formed into a producting center of high class musical 

His first attraction, "The Umpire," won instantaneous 
success, and ran for three hundred and five performances. 
"The Time, The Place and The Girl" followed, and a new 
Chicago record of four hundred and sixty-three perform- 
ances was set. "The Girl Question," "Honeymoon Trail," 
and "A Girl at the Helm" have all remained at the La 
Salle for more than one hundred and fifty performances 

In the summer of 1908 Mr. Singer completed the new 
Princess Theatre, on Clark Street. Here he produced "A 
Stubborn Cinderella," the best musical entertainment 
ever staged in Chicago. 

Mr. Singer himself is an energetic worker, and fortu- 
nate in the selection of capable assistants, to whom he 
turns over the execution of his plans. All of the Singer 
La Salle-Princess attractions are now on the road, and are 
being played from coast to coast. 

"Will" J. Davis, who to-day controls two of the most 
important theatres in Chicago, has had to struggle for 
every ascendant step he has made on the ladder leading 
to fame and fortune. 

Davis began in the cafe of the old Adelphic Theatre 
in Chicago. He was J. H. Haverly's most important aid 
during the major portion of that manager's activity. He 
was the organizer and director of the Chicago Church 
Choir Opera Company, and it was in this organization 
that he met, wooed, and married the late Jessie Bartlett 
Davis, perhaps the best contralto America has ever 
heard in light opera. She was the Buttercup in the fa- 
mous "Pinafore" cast which "Will" Davis gathered, and 
her efforts, while with the "Boston Ideals" and "The 

of 6u0ic anD t&e Drama 155 

Bostonians," imparted to these much of the distinction 
which was always maintained during the long existence 
of the two companies. Mr. Davis was for several years 
the acting manager for John A. Hamlin at the Grand 
Opera House in Chicago, and the outcome of his stay 
at that theatre was one of the most interesting legal bat- 
tles that was ever decided in a court of equity.* 

It happened in this way: Will Davis procured a lease 
of the Grand Opera House for himself. He was at the 
time he negotiated the lease an employee of Hamlin's. 
In the court trial wherein Hamlin sought to annul the 
Davis lease as invalid the latter maintained the tenabil- 
ity of his holding in that, while he was in the employ of 
Hamlin at the time the negotiations began, he was not 
so when the important deal was consummated. The 
courts, after a long and bitter fight, decided in Mr. Ham- 
lin's favor and Davis was forced to vacate the premises. 
This decision, one of the most important legal opinions 
ever handed down in a court-room, created a profound 
impression, and has ever since served as a precedent, the 
contention of the learned justice whose name I cannot 
now recall, having been sustained by the court of last 
resort after an expenditure of much legal ammunition 
and a profusion of technical verbiage. 

Jules Murry is a self-made manager and one whose 
career will serve as an incentive, if indeed the workers 
in the business department of the theatre require an in- 
centive in this era of multiplicity. Murry came from 
Munich a poor, German, immigrant boy, in the year 1879. 
After a short experience in various commercial pursuits 
he attracted the attention of Heinrich Conried, and began 
his active career in connection with the business depart- 
ment of the various German attractions with which Con- 

*Mrs. Davis also sang in several operas with Adelina Patti. 
She died May 14, 1906. 

156 jfottg 

ried was associated. The unique part of Murry's career 
is that although not schooled in the theatrical business, 
he became a power and for more than fifteen years he has 
virtually controlled the major portion of the best terri- 
tory and the best plays for his own attractions. He de- 
manded conscientious effort and the strictest business 
principles from his associates and employees. If John 
Drew would score on Broadway with a play, the next 
year Murry had it for the South and West, and, in an- 
other year, for the largest cities. He exploited a young 
and vigorous romantic actor, Psul Gilmore, by this meth- 
od. Rose Coghlan, Sadie Martinet, Marie Wainright and 
other stars of equal fame have starred in this manner 
under the Murry banner, always featuring a Broadway 
success; often this enterprising, self-made individual has 
as many as ten distinct attractions on tour simultane- 
ously. To-day he is a man of wealth, and his reputation 
is such that he is enabled to have the first call on de- 
sirable plays. A new star, Norman Hackett, is this year 
making vast strides under Mr. Murry, and seems des- 
tined for Broadway unless the signs are misleading. 

W. E. Nankeville, like Murry, has had a meteoric rise. 
He was an actor twenty-five years ago, and he entered 
the minstrel field through negotiations with J. H. Haver- 
ly, when that worthy showman began to drop out of 
theatricals and apply himself to the mining schemes, 
which he himself said had caused his decline. The meth- 
ods of Nankeville greatly resembled those of Jules Murry. 
He profited with minstrelsy for an indefinite period, and 
his control over the Haverly name and outfit was only 
interrupted by difficulties with the Mastodon manager's 
widow. It was with a play called "Human Hearts," 
written by a prolific writer of melodrama named Hal 
Reid, that Nankeville found his field. The play is by no 
means worthy of the success which it has scored and is 

of 90u0ic attD tfie Drama 157 

not to be thought of as the author's best. He has writ- 
ten several far better plays, still, "Human Hearts," for an 
immemorable period, has proved a veritable mint for the 
manager, but not for the author. Reid, generally a 
shrewd, calculative man, found himself in the position 
which authors often do, and at the outset, for a paltry 
sum, sold outright, for all time, the rights to a play that 
rarely has less than four companies simultaneously pre- 
senting it. Reid wrote a Biblical play, called "The 
Nazarene," which had all the elements that go to make 
an unconditional success. The Schuberts were greatly 
interested, and they, in conjunction with Messrs. John C. 
Fisher and Frank Perley, produced it in Newark. It was 
discovered before the opening night that this very play 
had been presented two years before at the Murray Hill 
Theatre under the title of "The Light of the World," and 
had failed signally. This produced a bad effect upon the 
critics and even upon the management. The author and 
his wife also made the error of forcing themselves in the 
leading roles, afterwards withdrawing upon request. The 
play did not live, although it was unquestionably the 
strongest, as far as intrinsic dramatic literature is con- 
cerned, that came from Mr. Reid's pen. The text was 
excellent, the presentation artistic in the extreme and the 
method of avoiding unpleasant criticism, from the use of 
so sacred a theme, was deft and even ingenious. Under 
new conditions "The Nazarene" might make history for 
the stage. 

158 Jfortp gears 2D60ertmtfon 


The writer of these records lived in the 6o's at No. 54 
East 26th Street in New York, a locale that at this period 
was decidedly conspicuous for many causes. The present 
site of the Madison Square Garden was then the Grand 
Central Station of the N. Y. C. & H. R. R., and on the 
corner of 26th Street and Fourth Avenue was the famous 
hotel of Christopher Sauer, where Richard Croker and 
Laurence Delmour spent their leisure hours and where 
Horace Greeley, the founder of the New York Tribune, 
was wont to drop in every day about four o'clock for his 
quota of apple pie and a mug of cider. 

One of these afternoons the writer was roaming around 
the restaurant with the sons of Mr. Sauer, when Charles 
Fechter, the distinguished Franco-Anglo tragedian en- 
tered the cafe and accosting Greeley, invited him to 
occupy a box at the Lyceum Theatre that night where 
Fechter was interpreting his greatest character, Claude 
Melnotte in "The Lady of Lyons." Croker was then 
about twenty-three years of age, surely not over twenty- 
five, and had not yet occupied even the suggestion of the 
political status that afterward came to him so rapidly. 

Greeley refused to accept the courtesy of free seats, but, 
seeing us boys lounging about the big stove, the great 
editor beckoned Croker and the writer in his direction and 
handing me three crisp new dollar bills, and speaking with 
that gum-chewing "Uncle Joshua" style that was always 
his, said: "Here, lad you go over to the Lyceum and 

of fiu0ic anO t&e Drama 159 

get three seats in the first balcony for to-night" and then 
turning to Fechter, who was struck with consternation 
he said, "I only go to the theatres when I am angry, upset 
or vindictive, and I am all three of these to-night, but I'll 
be damned if I'll lose the right to criticise a foreigner 
like you who hates America and Americans through 
accepting your proffered box but I'll be there. Another 
glass of cider there, pop." 

The house which our family occupied from 1865 to 
1869, was only a few doors from the famous Union 
League Club, for so long located at 26th Street and 
Madison Avenue. In this sumptuous club house was one 
of the daintiest and most perfectly constructed bijou 
theatres that this city has ever possessed ; often the most 
important stars appeared here with success. Marie 
Aimee played an engagement of importance there and 
French plays were often rendered by a band of Parisian 
players, in the period from 1869 to 1878. Unless the 
interior of this building has been changed, this audience 
room remains intact to-day and the suggestion is here 
offered that no more ideal or appropriate home could be 
secured to house a collection of French comedians which 
the elite of this city has for so long craved, and which is 
only prevented from occupying a permanent abode by the 
inability to secure a suitable and properly located audi- 
torium. If this particular hall is not to be restored to its 
ancient usefulness, the Concert Hall of Madison Square 
Garden across the way, might find a worse source of 
endeavor, particularly since there have been threats to 
destroy the entire Madison Square Garden property. At 
any rate these suggestions with a view to the establish- 
ment of a petite Theatre Francais in the Metropolis of 
the United States are offered unselfishly and should be 
effective in hastening the day when the noblest branch of 
all dramatic art may find a perpetual home. 

160 jfortp gears fl)60ertraticm 

Forty years ago Kate Fisher was the most conspicuous 
of the many exponents of the role of Mazeppa though 
Adah Isaacs Menken has given to that spectacular char- 
acter an atmosphere of realism or, shall it be called sen- 
sationalism, that none of her rivals or imitators could 
approach. The play "Mazeppa" received more than one 
elaborate presentation at the old Bowery Theatre (now 
the Thalia Theatre on the same site and very little 
changed) which was in 1868 under the management of 
William B. Freliegh. At this theatre, in those days, such 
stars as Edward Eddy, George C. Boniface, Sr., J. B. 
Studley, Edwin Adams and Lucille Western held sway 
to the delight of the audiences so distinctive of the 
Bowery Theatre in all of its long existence. 

Lucille Western's most noted achievement was in the 
dual role of Lady Isabel and Madame Vine in "East 
Lynne," the play's adaptation being evolved by Clifton 
W. Tayleure, a playwright and manager of distinction 
but of aggressive disposition and intrepid daring at all 

Mathilda Heron is another player who adorned the 
stage conspicuously from 1850 to 1872, though in this 
instance her rendition of Marguerite Gautier in Alexander 
Dumas' "Camille" entitled her to such great distinction 
that more than one historian of ancient dramatic records 
has devoted vast space to this one great artistic effort of 
her somewhat stormy career. Mathilda Heron's only 
daughter, known on the stage where she appeared in her 
infancy as Bijou Heron, did not arrive at the great 
prominence bestowed upon her mother, nor was the 
career of Bijou prolonged after she had outgrown the 
capacity for children roles. When she became the wife 
of Henry Miller (who even at that time was considered 
one of the best stage directors and producers), instead of 
developing into a full-fledged star as was prophesied, 

of Qpttsic attti t&e Drama iei 

there was a gradual tendency to retirement, thus giving 
credence to the popular belief at that time that there was 
no desire on the part of either Mr. or Mrs. Miller to 
perpetuate her artistic career. 

Writing of Bijou Heron naturally recalls Bijou Fer- 
nandez and her mother, Mrs. E. L. Fernandez, the latter 
a typical stage god-mother, who first attracted attention 
through her interest in the welfare of children of the 
stage. Her initial efforts in the agency line were executed 
through the little infants she was always able to supply 
to managers. And when that "Dean" of Vaudeville, the 
late Tony Pastor inaugurated his annual Christmas tree 
celebration at Tammany Hall a generation ago, it was 
Mrs. Fernandez who rendered him the most substantial 
aid. It was when the offices of Abbey Schoeffel and Grau 
were located opposite Daly's Theatre, next to the present 
Hoffbrau restaurant, that Mrs. Fernandez began to build 
up the vast clientele which to-day is exemplified in the 
magnificent and commodious offices which she conducts 
in the New Amsterdam Theatre Building. Mrs. Fernan- 
dez is a descendent of the famous family of Bradshaw's, 
and her father was Samuel Bradshaw, noted in the days 
of the old Bowery Theatre. 

Bijou Fernandez made her debut at the age of three 
years in David Belasco's "May Blossom" at the Madison 
Square Theatre and has been actively engaged since. 
Two years ago she became the wife of Wm. L. Abingdon, 
and together they now play engagements of importance. 

Mrs. Beaumont Packard is another veritable "Born on 
the Stage" type, having first seen the light in the early 
50*3. She began as a child songstress at the age of four. 
Her father was J. W. Buhoup who was the first to present 
a travelling minstrel troupe in this country. He also was 
the first to evolve a floating theatre and it was on one of 
these theatre boats that Mrs. Packard made her stage 

162 jfortg gears 

debut. Mrs. Packard, early in her career, displayed that 
talent for business which soon laid the foundation for her 
active life. In 1880 she had her own theatre, The Bijou, 
on Market Street in San Francisco, and in 1891 she came 
to New York and opened what is now known as the 
Packard Theatrical Exchange and in its conduct has 
obtained the confidence of managers and players alike. 

A daughter of Mrs. Packard's, known on the stage as 
Maud Winter, was conceded one of the best leading ladies 
of her time and her sudden passing away, March 13, 1904, 
deprived the stage of one of its brightest adornments. 
She was on the very verge of entering upon "Stardom" 
when her career was cut short in the very bloom of its 

James K. Hackett, Sr., although best known to history 
as a comedian for his truly great achievement as Falstaff 
in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" was actually the first 
impresario to give Grand Opera in the old Academy of 
Music, on the site of the present house of that name. In 
October, 1854, the historic edifice was dedicated by an 
organization headed by Mario, the famous Tenor and 
Grisi as Prima Donna. The lease of the Academy was 
held by Max Maretzek but he sublet to the elder Hackett, 
and although even on the opening night the opera house 
was not more than half filled, the furore created by both 
singers was instantaneous. 

Although this writer did not inaugurate his career as 
libretto boy until the regime of Jacob Grau, a few years 
later, he is relating the interesting details of the Hackett 
season as conveyed to him repeatedly by his father and 
uncle, both of whom had arrived in America in 1853. 
Jacob Grau managed the Academy of Music himself a 
decade later (in fact he was its director on the night it 
was destroyed by fire in 1865), thus it was but natural 
that we boys, Maurice, Sam and myself, should be im- 







of Q^ustc anB tfte Drama 

pressed with the history of the old house inasmuch as 
we were all there as libretto boys when the new Acad- 
emy (the one now standing) was opened in 1866. If I 
did not hear Mario and Grisi, in their zenith, it is to be 
regretted that it was my unfortunate experience to be a 
constant listener to Mario when he came here two de- 
cades later as the leading support of Carlotta Patti in 
1872 when that great coloratura singer came for one of 
her several tours under the Brothers Strakosch. 

Anna Louise Gary, the beautiful and superb contralto, 
was a member of this company, and it was my province 
to dispose of the photographs of the great Carlotta, also 
of Gary and of Mario and although Mario's voice at this 
period (he had reached three score at least) was but a 
wreck, it is recalled that his portraits were sold even 
more rapidly than the great Patti's or the beautiful 

What a pity that Tamberlik, too, was heard here after 
his voice had lost its purity; it is not to be instanced 
where any great singer benefited much financially from 
the prolongation of their artistic careers beyond any 
reasonable point. It is true that Adelina Patti received 
her greatest honorarium when she was least of all worthy, 
but it is likely that she would, to-day, return the $200,000 
which her last American tour brought her, if she could 
forget the experience. And after all, it was her own fault, 
her own love of money, and the selfish desire to obtain 
that paltry $2,000 for a Liverpool concert that brought the 
diva here only forty-eight hours ahead of her opening con- 
cert, thus causing an audience of 4,000 persons, a veritable 
first night audience, too, to hear her in very bad voice, 
really hoarse. The papers criticized her for coming at all. 
The second concert drew $7,000, and the diva sang divine- 
ly almost as of old, but it was too late ; the damage had 
been done and the tour which would have yielded this 

164 JFortp gears Dtoertmtfon 

writer at least one hundred thousand dollars, even on the 
terms that Patti received, resulted in a loss, not great, but 
nevertheless a loss. This, too, is the same Patti, who, 
twenty and even ten years before, would compel Abbey, 
Mapleson or Maurice Grau to return $15,000 to an audi- 
ence just because she was the least bit hoarse. Alas, that 
was the artistic Patti, the real la diva, not the Baroness 
Cederstrom of 1904, who came out to America once too 
often with no greater or more worthy incentive than to, 
as she told it herself, "Break all her own records for finan- 
cial results," and, as she further put it, "after she had been 
for over a half century a public singer of renown." 

As has been stated, Adelina Patti's first appearance in 
New York took place at Trippler Hall, when she was but 
a child; her operatic debut was effected in the old 
Academy of Music under Max Maretzek in 1859. 

Ben De Bar was greatly identified with Falstaff, al- 
though the last twenty years of his life were spent, 
managerially, at his theatre in St. Louis. When he did 
venture before the footlights it was as the Merry Mon- 
arch of Windsor. De Bar was truly typical of the old 
school of actor manager, now almost obliterated. 

David Bidwell was closely associated with De Bar ; the 
two were the first to present the "Black Crook" through- 
out this country. De Bar managed the old Theatre Royal 
in Montreal a half century ago and it was here that John 
McCullough received the munificent salary of $35 a week. 

David Bidwell controlled all the theatres in New 
Orleans in the yo's, and while he was gruff, and subject 
to intemperate moods, if his heart could be reached, 
fortunate indeed was he who had found his way there, 
for no man whom Dave Bidwell ever liked ever wanted 
for anything while the great Southern manager lived. 
Bidwell was easily excited, and he had a horror for fear 
of being made the butt of practical jokers. The elder 

of fiu0tc attD tfte Drama 165 

Sothern was noted for his efforts in this line, often carry- 
ing matters so far as to create a great upheaval. 

It is recalled that about the time Sothern, Wm. J. 
Florence and John T. Raymond were the three conspicu- 
ous figures in New York theatrical life, Bidwell who had 
a severe case of gout, came to New York on one of his 
summer visits. Just as soon as he reached his hotel he 
found a telegram awaiting him purporting to come from 
New Orleans where Bidwell had just hailed from. The 
telegram read as follows : 

"Return immediately, you are advertised to appear here 
next week as Dick Deadeye in "Pinafore." 

The telegram was signed by Sothern, who was at the 
time waiting in the ante-room of the hotel with his coterie 
of friends, wishing to catch a glimpse of the irate 
Southerner, as he opened the despatch. It must be under- 
stood that Sothern had arranged the whole procedure of 
the telegram by collusion with the telegraph company. 
Bidwell upon reading the telegram indulged in no anger 
whatever, on the contrary he was inclined to see the thing 
entirely as a joke, which Sothern had not reckoned on. 
Therefore, when Sothern saw Bidwell writing a reply to 
the message he and his friends stationed themselves in 
front of the District Telegraph Office to await the mes- 
senger's return which followed a moment or two later. 
The reply which Bidwell had sent was as follows : 

"The Telegraph Company has refused to accept my 

Back in the late Go's when Jacob Grau had suffered 
reverses with one of his Grand Opera ventures, he saved 
himself by conceiving a plan which was thoroughly 
illustrative of this impresario, the first of all the Graus to 
embrace a managerial career. 

It seems that the present King Edward, then Prince 
of Wales, was about to visit America. Grau secured the 

166 jfortp gears SDflsertmtion 

consent of the stockholders of Irving Hall for a grand ball 
to be given in honor of the Prince, in reality a gathering 
of the theatrical clans. It was the first distinctly theatri- 
cal ball ever given in New York and the financial results 
were such as would hardly be believed to-day, more than 
$25,000 being realized. 

Jacob Grau gave the first of a series of French Balls at 
the old Theatre Francais on West i4th Street. These 
were the gayest events of the late Go's, and, in fact, 
always yielded great profits, far more than the artistic 
offerings of this impresario had realized up to this time, 
with the sole exception of the Ristori tour. 

Maurice Grau, after he had reached years of discretion 
never forgot his uncle's methods or achievements, and it 
is not reflective on the former Metropolitan director to 
state that he was wont to emulate his uncle in nearly all 
matters of great importance. When the firm of Grau and 
Chizzola were operating the theatre on West i4th Street 
to which this writer has occasion to refer so often, they 
began to sustain great losses. The Soldene Company 
which was expected to repeat the great furore of the 
Lydia Thompson British Blondes at Niblo's a few years 
before, met with only an indifferent reception. It was 
true that this troupe contained the greatest array of 
English Beauties that this country had ever gazed upon 
up to this period, in fact it is questionable whether at any 
time in the writer's recollection such a collective band of 
beauty was ever organized, at least not for America ; the 
company did not draw, and this had not been reckoned 
upon by Grau and Chizzola. 

Emily Soldene herself, while a great artist with a pow- 
erful voice, was not attractive and surely not young when 
she visited these shores in 1874-75, so that perhaps it may 
be attributed to the star, that the box office did not 
respond to the efforts of the Soldene troupe, But, if the 

of 90u0ic and tfte Drama 

box office did not issue satisfactory statements during 
the sojourn of the English Burlesquers, the bar in the 
basement of the theatre (then called the Lyceum 
Theatre) was the liveliest place in New York during the 
reign of this company. This bar was presided over by a 
young and energetic personage named William Proctor, 
the same who has amassed a fortune in the financial 
section of this city and is now located in Pine Street near 
Broadway. Mr. Proctor, the writer is sure, will not deny, 
that he got his first financial encouragement during the 
Soldene season on West i4th Street. 

In the Lyceum Theatre, which has not to this day been 
altered, the dressing rooms are all just back of the space 
which Proctor used for his cafe, and at both ends of the 
cafe there were doors leading to these dressing rooms. 
The shrewd Proctor realizing that the days of the Sol- 
denes were not to be perpetual, had small openings made 
in these doors such as are used in box offices in theatres, 
large enough to exchange money and tickets through the 
aperture. The spectacle of those English girls coming 
to these small openings for their favorite beverages was 
a sight that soon began to be talked about and if the 
theatre upstairs did not make profits, the cafe did; more 
than once the receipts there realized were borrowed to 
meet some obligation which the disastrous season in the 
theatre had incurred. 

It has been stated here that Maurice Grau emulated his 
uncle in his earlier years, and it is certain that he would 
himself corroborate this statement. This emulation 
served the firm of Grau and Chizzola and saved them 
from bankruptcy at a crucial period when all seemed to 
be lost. 

The theatre on i4th Street had not prospered even with 
Adelaide Ristori who had returned to the very scene o 
her old triumphs, but not with the old success. 

168 jfortp gears ffl>&0ettmtion 

Mrs. Rousby, the English beauty, drew but fairly, and 
Toole, the English comedian was an absolute failure, 
though one of the greatest artists this country had ever 
welcomed. Even Adelaide Neilson, the greatest actress 
of her class of all time, who was playing a season at this 
same theatre on West i4th Street under Max Strakosch, 
by arrangements with Grau and Chizzola, did not at this 
particular period command the public as at all other 
times; Maurice Grau was at his wit's ends to hold his 
forces together. 

Up at the Park Theatre, at Broadway and 22d Street, 
then (1878) under the managements of William Stuart 
assisted by Chandos Fulton, Grau and Chizzola were pre- 
senting another opera bouffe company headed by Coralie 
Geoffrey, in Charles Lecocq's "Girofle Girofla" which, at 
this house, had a long run. At the particular time to 
which the writer refers, all of the various Grau and Chiz- 
zola enterprises were at a low ebb. It was then that 
Maurice Grau recalled how his uncle had saved himself 
with a French Ball a decade before. This firm did not 
wish to appear conspicuous in the undertaking, and the 
clever Starr Morrissey (a brother of James W. Mor- 
rissey) was sent for and the Academy of Music secured 
for a "Grand Bal D'opera Bouffe." 

It was fortunate that, at this time, three of the firm's 
opera bouffe companies were in the city; Marie Aimee 
and her company at the Olympic, The Geoffroy Company 
at the Park, and the Soldene troupe at the Lyceum. The 
very fact that those English girls, were to be at the ball 
was the most potent feature ; it need only be stated that 
the receipts of the ball were over $30,000. The firm of 
Grau and Chizzola was saved and their affairs began to 
improve, though at the close of the season here referred 
to, a dissolution of the firm was effected. 

Phineas T. Barnum, in the management of Jenny 

of Su0ic attD tfie Drama 169 

Lind's concert tour, displayed of course the extraordinary 
showmanship which characterizes his entire active career. 
Although the tour of the Swedish cantatrice was not ob- 
served by this writer he had the benefit of a fairly large 
acquaintance, not only with Barnum himself, but with 
Bernard Ullman, an impresario who was quite a factor 
in this country in the period from 1850 to 1865. 

Jenny Lind was heard at Castle Garden, and her first 
tour was directed with a masterly and ingenious pro- 
cedure which undoubtedly set the precedent for all that 
followed in the musical history of this nation. The re- 
ceipts of the concerts given at Castle Garden, have not 
since been duplicated, even by Adelina Patti or by any 
of the Grand Opera tours that history has recorded to 
this date. Twenty thousand dollars was often realized 
at Jenny Lind's concerts even where auction sales and 
ticket speculation (then far more prevalent in proportion 
to population than now) are not considered, and in cities 
of the size of Richmond, New Haven and Rochester, 
gross takings in excess of $12,000 were obtained. 

Patti's largest receipts in concert were $13,800, in 
Philadelphia, on November gth, 1904, while the largest 
receipts for a single representation of Grand Opera, was 
at a matinee given at Mechanic's Hall in Boston in the 
spring of 1887, possibly it was 1888, when no less than 
$18,000 was taken in at the box office. 

Of course there have been several special occasions 
where larger takings have been recorded such as the 
benefits of the impresarios at the Metropolitan Opera 
House. The largest of these was the genuine testimonial 
tendered to Henry E. Abbey in the spring of 1884, after 
he had lost, in a single season, no less than $250,000, in 
the inaugurating year of the Opera House, with the 
most expensive Grand Opera organization that, up to 
that time had been gathered, and which included 

iro JFottp gears 2D60ertmtiott 

Christine Nilsson, Marcella Sembrich, Sofia Scalchi, Cam- 
panini, Stagno, Del Puente and others of equal fame and 
merit. The receipts for this benefit performance yielded 
more than $30,000. 

The annual benefit to Maurice Grau, which was a 
custom, owing to the fact that the contracts of the artists 
contained a clause by which they were obliged to sing 
at one representation at the season's close, without com- 
pensation, was wont to bring in anywhere from $18,000 to 
$20,000 and when Herr Conried succeeded to the "Bed" 
so comfortably made up for him by his predecessor, he 
also was pleased to partake of this gratuity. It is not 
pleasant to tell that the Herr Director saw fit to degrade 
his own artistic career, and that of the opera house as 
well as the matchless array of artists it housed, by 
actually forcing such artists as Caruso, Sembrich, Eames, 
Scotti, Plancon and others to either appear in his pro- 
ductions of the comic operettas "Die Fledermaus" and 
"The Gypsy Baron" or else sit on "dress parade" at the 
tables in the concert scenes, in order that they might in 
some manner be utilized for this one gratuitious appear- 
ance which their contracts called for. It is true that 
Maurice Grau himself did, on one of these annual affairs, 
use the soldiers chorus from "Faust" as the only means 
by which the tremendous galaxy of stars could be prop- 
erly heard, or rather I should say "presented." 

That this function of the season's close has been abol- 
ished will surely be gratefully recorded by the historian 
whose pleasure it shall be to recite the Grand Opera 
history a decade hence. 

Speaking of Barnum recalls to the writer, that in the 
period from 1868 to 1873, in East i4th Street, directly 
opposite the Academy of Music and Steinway Hall, a 
permanent, all the year around circus was maintained by 






Six stars of the Maurice Grau regime at Metropolitan Opera House. 

of Sgtisic attD t&e Drama in 

L. B. Lent. This was really not far removed from the 
present Hippodrome save that of course the auditorium 
was not constructed upon such a scale of grandeur; yet, 
forty years ago, New York had its winter circus here on 
a scale that is not to be equalled to-day. It also had its 
aquarium, ten years later, on the site of the Herald 
Square Theatre, the ashes of which are still warm as 
these lines are being penned. 

The actor-manager, as has been stated before, is gradu- 
ally disappearing from activity, and recollections, a 
decade hence, will surely chronicle the absolute oblitera- 
tion of the last of this species. Among those who have 
already passed away, Bernard Macauley was a noted 
figure. He maintained Theatres in Cincinnati and Louis- 
ville (where a brother, John T. Macauley now succeeds 
him) that were conducted as veritable schools of dramatic 
art. He was one of the very last to succumb to the 
combination system, and that not until his efforts to 
sustain a model stock company threatened the utter 
annihilation of his financial resources. 

John Ellsler's career was long, honorable and unselfish, 
and history cannot recall any actor-manager who can 
contribute more material for narration than "Uncle John," 
but inasmuch as records of his achievements are already 
preserved, it is not this writer's province to dwell further 
than the mere recollection that his honorable name 

Effie Ellsler, a daughter of the manager named, was a 
veritable child of the stage, and her rendition of the role 
of "Hazel Kirke" was her most noted achievement; no 
player of the last half century can boast of a career more 
useful, or of a repertoire more varied. The versatility of 
Effie Ellsler is best denoted when it is recorded that as 
Josephine in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "H. M. S. 

jfortp gears fl>&*ertratfon 

Pinafore" she was pronounced matchless, the best of all 
the many who interpreted the soprano role in this, the 
most successful comic opera in the world's history. 

The vogue of "Pinafore" began when William Hender- 
son by arrangement with James C. Duff, produced it at 
what is now the Manhattan Theatre. "Pinafore" had been 
rendered in any number of cities in a hurried manner and 
in garbled form, but Henderson had been over to Boston 
where R. M. Field gave the work a really good interpre- 
tation In the New York cast (The Duff-Henderson pro- 
duction), a Miss Mills sang Josephine, Verona Jarbeau 
made her stage debut as Hebe; the Buttercup cannot be 
recalled. Thomas Whiff en who was the Sir Joseph Porter 
was by all manner of means, the best exponent of the role 
seen at any period. William Davidge was Dick Deadeye 
and the entire cast was appropriate though not containing 
any names of great prominence. 

Henderson's fortunes were of course repaired by the 
immense success of the delicious satire, and comic opera 
as an institution was thus born, for, previous to the era 
of "Pinafore," French opera bouffe alone, provided play 
and opera goers with this class of amusement. "Pinafore" 
became the rage and at one time, in 1 88 1, no less than five 
companies were rendering the operetta in New York, 
simultaneously. There were also children "Pinafore" 
companies galore, and from these sprung such prominent 
players of to-day as Julia Marlowe, Arthur Dunn, 
Corinne, Jenny Dunn, Sally Cohen, Ida Mulle and others 
not now recalled. In 1850 Henderson was leading man 
for Parker and Ellis, in Detroit. He managed the Old 
Drury in Pittsburg from 1860 to 1870, and was the only 
provider of first-class plays in that city. Like all the old 
school actor-managers, he was dignified and kindly. He 
died in 1889. 

Ettie Henderson, his widow, was the first to play Fan- 

of Spusic anD tfte Drama ITS 

chon in London, a role in which Maggie Mitchell scored 
her greatest success. Great casts were seen in Ettie 
Henderson's own play "Almost a Life" for many years. 
She retired from the stage when, on her husband's death, 
she assumed the management of the Academy of Music, 
Jersey City. 

"Pinafore" also brought into vogue the "Church Choir 
Opera Co," one was John Gorman's Philadelphia 
Church Choir Co.; it gave the best musical interpre- 
tation of the opera that has ever been heard. This com- 
pany appeared at Daly's Theatre, in 1882, during the 
heated term. It was truly a Church Choir Co. too, all of 
the principals and Choristers being recruited from the 
choirs of the Quaker City's churches by Louis DeLange 
who appeared himself as the Admiral Sir Joseph. In after 
years he became well known as a player and playwright, 
though sad to relate he ended his life by his own hand a 
few years ago, while under temporary mental affliction. 

J. H. Haverly also organized one of these Church Choir 
Companies which included Jessie Bartlett Davis, John 
Me Wade and others of equal renown; this organization 
really provided the incentive and afterwards led to the 
formation of the first Boston Ideal Opera Company, a 
gathering of singers and players that has never been 
equalled in the history of the American stage. The roster 
of this company, of which I have only my memory to 
serve me, included Henry C. Barnabee, George Frothing- 
ham, Tom Karl, Myron C. Whitney, Charles Macdonald, 
Zelie DeLussan, Adelaide Phillips, Marie Stone and, 
afterwards, Jessie Bartlett Davis. A Mr. Foster had 
charge of the business details and for nearly twelve years 
this matchless company graced the stages of the country 
and gradually became the leading operatic touring com- 
bination of the country. In or about 1893 it met reverses 
and disbanded, and Messrs. Barnabee, Karl and Me- 

174; Jfortg gearg SDbserfcatton 

donald reorganized the forces, and "The Bostonians" 
came into being with the production of Smith and 
DeKoven's "Robin Hood." Another era of prosperity 
prevailed which lasted for more than ten years, but which, 
finally, resulted in the disbanding of this company, un- 
doubtedly due to the fact that the singers who had for 
nearly twenty-five years been identified with opera, 
were reaching the age limit which never fails to be 
recognized by the great public. 

Henry Clay Barnabee, before he joined the "Boston 
Ideals" and before he became an operatic comedian, had 
achieved great fame all over the United States as the 
sole projector and executor of a decidedly unique enter- 
tainment, called "A Night With Barnabee" in which the 
big mirth-provoking Bostonian was wont to hold his audi- 
ences for two hours by the sheer potency of his own 

And no comedian, who to-day remains on the boards in 
excess of one hour when interpreting his "turn," can 
dispel the impression which many now living had that 
Barnabee was the greatest individual impersonator of all 
times. A later generation had a faint opportunity to pass 
upon Barnabee's ability as an entertainer when, in 1905, 
he effected his debut on the modern vaudeville stage, in 
a specialty which gave his audiences an illustration of the 
Barnabee brand of humor. His side-splitting delineation 
of "The Man with the Cork Leg" kept the vaudeville 
audiences at Mr. Percy William's Theatres in a state of 
uncontrollable merriment. But poor Barnabee's career 
in vaudeville was cut short by a serious accident while 
appearing in this same specialty at the Columbia Theatre 
in St. Louis. He had no sooner recovered from this 
calamity and returned to this city when he was severely 
injured in a collision between a surface car and an express 
wagon, and from this last misfortune the venerable 

X ^> 

a -a 

of ti0tc anD tfte Drama 

"grand old man of comic opera" is now convalescing at 
his country home in Jamaica Plain, Mass. 

The largest receipts that have ever been recorded for 
any single representation in America, and perhaps any- 
where, were obtained at the Metropolitan Opera House 
during the Grau regime, on the occasion of the perform- 
ance given in honor of Prince Henry of Prussia. All of 
the singers in the company were cast in a miscellaneous 
programme which embraced an act from each of six 
operas. The event was of great historic importance and 
took place on Tuesday evening, February 25th, 1902. The 
prices ranged from $5 to $30, while the boxes were sold 
at an average price of $200. Even at these seemingly 
forbidding rates, the character of the occasion (which 
was similar to the frequent "State" nights at Covent 
Garden in London) was such as to create a demand for 
every seat and box in the vast auditorium, while the 
standing room, limited at that time by the fire laws, was 
disposed of before 7 -,30 P. M. The box office was closed 
long before the time for the Programme's Commence- 

The gross receipts were close to $50,000 and despite the 
very greatly increased expense for decorations, which 
were very artistic, and the fact that every artist in the 
Metropolitan Company was on the salary list for the 
night, the profit was in excess of $25,000, a sum that 
would have satisfied Col. Mapleson or the Strakoschs as 
their surplus of any season in their strenuous operatic 

Undoubtedly the most popular tenor heard in the 
United States previous to the erection of the Metroplitan 
Opera House, was Pietro Brignoli, known among his 
friends and even among opera habitues as "Brig." 

Brignoli was of mammoth size, and although his stage 
walk and his general appearance elicited merriment, he 

176 Jfottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

was admired by both the sexes. His career was long and 
useful, though it must be noted that he permitted himself 
to be heard in public long after the sweetness of his vocal 
organs had departed; yet even in the last lustrum of his 
public life, he remained an attraction of great potency. 
Brignoli was as much identified with the ballad "Good- 
bye Sweetheart" (sung in English by him with a broad 
accent that was ludicrous) as Adelina Patti was with 
"The Last Rose of Summer." 

The big tenor was a ravenous eater, and when singing 
at the Academy and Steinway Hall, he was wont to dine 
at Moretti's, a famous Italian restaurant which, for a 
quarter of a century, was located on the corner of i4th 
Street and Third Avenue. Here Brignoli was to be found 
almost always when not at his home at the Belvedere 
Hotel, then located at isth Street and Irving Place. 

One morning Moretti was appealed to by Brignoli, to 
bring him something to tempt his appetite as he was far 
from well and unable to partake of his customary food, 
so that Moretti, a veritable magician in the arts of 
culinary creation, brought him a dish specially prepared 
for the purpose of restoring the appetite of the distressed 
tenor. "Brig," having disposed of the dish rapidly, was 
asked by the restaurateur how he felt after partaking of 
the delicacy placed before him. 

"Oh, a little better, if I only had my appetite," answered 
the tenor. 

"I'll fix you," said Moretti, and presently he appeared 
with a good sized duck, roasted to perfection, an "ome- 
lette aux herbs" and a salad fit for just such a gourmand 
as the tenor admittedly was. This collection of good 
things was also rapidly devoured by the "ailing" singer 
and again Moretti approached to inquire if there was any 
improvement in the physical condition of the illustrious 

of apustc anD tfje Drama irr 

"Yes, I feel much better, but my appetite fails me. If 
that could only be restored I would be all right for 
Manrico to-night." 

Then Moretti brought Brignoli a monster porterhouse 
steak, with dishes of sliced tomatoes and fried potatoes 
on the side, and this too, he ate with the same dispatch as 
before. Moretti approached him and slapped him on the 
back as he shouted : "Well now, old man, surely now you 
have your appetite restored." 

"Yes," answered Brignoli, "I am altogether better now, 
and I shall have my breakfast at once." 

A son of Moretti is still alive and has a restaurant in 
this city somewhere and he will certainly vouch for the 
truth of this recital, which is in no way exaggerated. 

Henry Wolfsohn, the best known of the various 
musical agents and concert directors in this country, was 
first destined for an actor's career. Arrangements were 
perfected with Jacob Grau who, in 1868, was present- 
ing the great German actress Marie Seebach at the 
French Theatre on West i4th Street, for Wolfsohn's ap- 
pearance for one night as Othello. The amount which 
Wolfsohn paid the writer's uncle for this artistic privilege 
was $1,000 and for this sum the entire company with 
Madame Seebach as Desdemona was included. It is not 
thought that at this time, the successful musical manager 
will take any offense, at this reminder of his histrionic 
debut, for if truth is told the night was one of merriment, 
and none really enjoyed the Moor's vigorous perform- 
ance as much as Marie Seebach herself. But it was a 
great night and it was not forgotten for many years after- 
ward. Even now as these lines are penned, the writer, 
then a lad of fifteen, cannot help delighting in the thought 
that this recollection will cause more than one survivor of 
the Wolfsohn Othello to sit back and roar. No words 
that can avail would do justice to the manner in which 

178 Jfortp gears 2D60ertmtion 

Wolfsohn read his lines, and his persistent "Das tooch" 
was simply productive of uncontrollable laughter. One 
night was all that was permitted, and an effort was made 
to "hush it up/'* 

However, if Wolfsohn did not become the rival of 
Salvini as the ferocious Moor, his efforts in the musical 
world gave him afterwards more than an equal fame to 
that which he sought to gain as a tragedian. The first 
of his managerial efforts was in conjunction with Gus 
Kerker; together they produced an opera called "The 
Cadets," produced at Louisville, Ky., where Kerker 
hailed from. This opera was a failure, and the tour was 
cut short. Wolfsohn came to New York and started a 
modest musical bureau, about twenty-five years ago, in 
East i4th Street No. 331 where he also lived with his 
family. From this small start, the persistency and stabil- 
ity which characterized his efforts, led him, eventually, 
to a business of great proportions. In fact, for twenty- 
five years his bureau business grew, and at various 
periods he has controlled nearly all the great musical 
celebrities who have visited America; to-day no man in 
the musical world is more influential, and few indeed as 

Hermann Grau, also an uncle of the writer, was a Ger- 
man opera impresario at various periods from 1868 to 
1895, and he conducted many seasons of German opera at 
the Stadt Theatre (where the Windsor Theatre now 
stands) on the Bowery, also at Terrace Garden on East 
58th Street; on tour he was regarded as the foremost 
provider of this field. Although his organizations were 
never of the really highest rank, he nevertheless brought 
out some of the best voices and the greatest artists ever 
heard in German opera anywhere during the time of his 

*Henry Wolfsohn died in June, 1909. His biography appears 
elsewhere in these records. 

of Q5ii0tc and t&e Drama 179 

regime. For a short period he had Pauline Lucca in his 
company, and such stars as Carl Formes, Weinlich, Mme. 
Freiderici, Herr Himmer, Pauline Canisa and Eugenie 
Pappenheim were always prominent in the personnel of 
his representations. 

Hermann Grau still lives and has entered his eighty- 
fourth year. Two of his sons, Jules and Matt Grau, 
have been the managers of English Comic Opera from 
1882 to 1903, when their operations were cut short by 
the illness of Jules who died in 1905. Matt opened a 
dramatic and musical agency in the New York Theatre 
Building in 1903, and has prospered there ever since, be- 
cause of his energy and constant application to the in- 
terests of the decidedly large clientele he has created. 

Jacob Litt, who before his death had amassed one of 
the great fortunes that the theatrical field so seldom 
proffers, began modestly, in Milwaukee, as assistant 
treasurer of the Grand Opera House under Jacob Nunne- 
macher in 1879. He rose in truly meteoric style, and 
later, when he produced "In Old Kentucky," a play that 
has yielded him at least $750,000, he became one of the 
great powers managerially. At the time of his demise he 
owned or controlled theatres in Chicago, Milwaukee, 
St. Paul and Minneapolis, besides having the lease of the 
Broadway Theatre in the city of New York. Near the 
end of his career, he took into partnership with him, A. 
W. Dingwall; all of the firm's enterprises are to-day di- 
rected by the latter under the firm name of Litt and 

John T. Ford was another one of those managers of 
long ago whom the era of progress and discipline has not 
replaced. His career was more than the ordinary one 
alloted to great theatrical figures, although it was in the 
South and in Baltimore and Washington that his fame 
was achieved. It was John T. Ford who was directing 

180 jfortg gears 

the fortunes of Ford's Opera House in Washington, D. C. 
on the night that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by 
a prominent actor whose name need not be here recorded 
since there is no need to perpetuate a direct reference to a 
tragedy that brings only heart burnings to all true 
sympathizers of the various relatives of the actor here 
quoted, one of whom was the greatest actor that Ameri- 
can audiences ever paid homage to. 

Ford had several sons, all of them active in theatricals, 
but the one to be here named is Charles E. Ford, who 
has succeeded to the management of the Ford's Theatre, 
Baltimore, and because of the work that he accomplished 
in the field of comic opera and his vast experience and 
general excellence of the performances of Ford's Opera 
Company, became one of a few providers of light opera 
which twenty-five years ago, had a more artistic status 
and better interpretation than to-day is extended to this 
important but much abused field. 

Mrs. John Drew's assistant manager at the Arch Street 
Theatre was Charles R. Gardiner. He remained her asso- 
ciate in that famous playhouse for many years, but in the 
early 8o's he became the lessee and manager of the 
Academy of Music in Chicago, and, about 1884, opened a 
large, and at that time, the leading manager's exchange. 
Conducting as it did, all of the business affairs of Col. 
J. H. Haverly, it was paramount to the conduct of the 
country's entire amusement holdings since the brilliant 
showman at that period was more noted than all other 
managers combined. Haverly's fall was not accomplished 
in the theatrical business, at least, he himself claimed 
that it was his mining interests which contributed to his 
gradual decline from the managerial position he held so 

Haverly could not bear to see anyone in want and it 
used to be observed that in order to succeed in the theatri- 

of $it$ic arts tfte Drama isi 

cal business one had to have a heart. If this be true, 
there has surely been a vast change, for it cannot be said 
that the great factors controlling the nation's theatrical 
affairs are considerate of their predecessors who still live. 

It is known that the widow of Col. Haverly at this 
time, earns a precarious living for herself and children, 
(the children of dear old "Jack" Haverly), by selling a 
preparation of cold cream to players whom she may be 
enabled to reach, hawking her articles in a heavy basket, 
up numerous flights of stairs, night after night, more 
often in vain too. 

Just as these pages are being written a report is gaining 
currency that a monument is about to be erected in honor 
of the great "Mastodonic" showman. Haverly was not 
unworthy of such an honor, but if he could be consulted 
in his perhaps neglected grave, it is certain that he would 
much prefer that the cost of so elaborate and expensive 
a memorial be wholly or even partly expended to provide 
an annuity for the widow who struggled so often with 
him, in his efforts to make theatrical history. More than 
one magnate in the amusement world of to-day owes his 
present fame, and the fortunes amassed through his fame, 
to Haverly's help. 

What is here stated about Haverly, could well be re- 
peated of Henry E. Abbey, who died penniless and com- 
paratively neglected. In this instance, through the 
energies of a few women of the type represented by 
"Aunt Louisa" Eldridge Abbey's daughter, Kitty, was 
given a benefit which yielded her a large sum, but the 
widow of the impresario, an actress before her marriage, 
is living in a retirement in London, in circumstances said 
to be far from comfortable. 

In connection with the above narration, it should be 
recorded that the theatrical and musical providers of the 
past and the present, also the great majority of playera 

182 jfortp gears 2D60ertmtion 

and stage workers of every description, die poor. Few 
indeed save anything to speak of, and the Actors' Fund is 
called upon every year in its annual reports to exhibit a 
deficit, due undoubtedly to the calls made upon its great 
resources, for the burials of those who while living and 
in activity, earned fabulous salaries, compared with the 
earnings of people in other branches of industry ; yet the 
player has been the dictating factor at all periods and his 
position always impregnably defined. No class of brain 
workers are as well paid, judged as a whole, and no class 
have a greater incentive for prudency, since the spectacle 
of "What has gone before" is always in panoramic evi- 

It is to be noted that the small waged player is far more 
provident than the star or the more prominent personage, 
and it is the vaudeviller who can give the best account of 
his industry. A large number of these have homes of 
their own in suburban cities, or at least farms, and 
statistics of the realty companies of recent years are re- 
plete with information of the investments of the thrifty 
vaudeville performers. 

The great success of Harry Lauder calls to mind other 
native and foreign artists who were able to hold the stage 
for an hour or longer by sheer force of the magnetism of 
their personality. 

Albert Chevalier has always, in all countries in which 
his remarkable talents were exhibited, maintained the 
reputation achieved by him in the London Halls and al- 
though he never has been paid but a little in excess of 
one-half the honorarium which Lauder receives, never- 
theless, he has been before the public so long, that it is 
likely he will have earned more money in his career than 
any individual male artist from the music hall stage. 

Sol Smith Russell was perhaps the foremost American 
actor to give a monologue though his activity was not 

of Su0ic and tfie Drama iss 

effected in music halls or vaudeville theatres. In 1869 
Mr. Russell was jointly featured with the famed Berger 
Family, originally Swiss Bell Ringers. Eventually the 
extraordinary musical talents of Anna Teresa Berger and 
her sisters, caused the manager of the organization, 
Frederick Berger, to make a high class concert tour, in 
1871, and for many years afterwards, this matchless array 
of talent prospered. Sol Smith Russell wed Louisa M. 
Berger, and Anna Teresa was wedded to Leigh Lynch, 
who had been manager of many prominent stars and long 
the business manager for Shook and Palmer at the Union 
Square Theatre in New York. Lynch died in 1903. 

Sol Smith Russell was developed into a full-fledged 
star, and made his first great triumph in "Edgewood 
Folks" written by J. E. Brown. Edward E. Kidder, the 
playwright, wrote "A Poor Relation" for Russell, also 
other plays. Mr. Kidder managed Joseph Murphy for a 
long time before he ever thought of writing plays, and 
for a long period he directed the tours of Mr. and Mrs. 
J. C. Williamson, who presented a character dialect com- 
edy entitled "Struck Oil," in which Mr. Williamson gave 
a deliciously satirical sketch of Teutonic character. 

The Williamsons went to Australia where they "struck 
oil" in reality, and until this day J. C. Williamson has 
been the greatest, if not the only, provider of foreign 
attractions in Australia. Famous stars like Irving, 
Bernhardt and the majority of American attractions go 
to the Antipodes under Williamson's direction. 

Mrs. Williamson was known as Maggie Moore, and she 
was last seen by the writer a year or so ago, playing in 
vaudeville with a newly wedded husband whose name is 
not now recalled. It was not generally known that the 
Williamsons had separated. Oh, the pity of it! 

T. Henry French had a decidedly active career and 
became a theatrical manager from necessity rather than 

184 jFortp gears fl)60ertiation 

choice. The firm of Samuel French and Son was the most 
important of the various publishers of plays in the last 
half century. Henry French was often called upon to 
give financial assistance to the more important interests 
and Henry E. Abbey, J. H. Haverly, Maurice Grau and 
others were more than once tided over by him. It was 
he who built the American Theatre on West 42d Street, 
and he also was the original lessee of the Garden Theatre, 
while the Broadway Theatre was for a long period under 
his direction. Reverses came to him before the end of his 
managerial activity and at the time of his death, his 
holdings were few indeed, aside from the play publishing 
establishment which is maintained to this day under the 
original firm name. T. Henry French brought Edward 
Strauss to America, to open Madison Square Garden. He 
also managed the Grand Opera House and produced 
"Little Lord Fauntleroy." 

The Boston Theatre has had so eventful a history that 
two large volumes have been written on this exclusive 
subject by Eugene Tompkins, its present owner. There- 
fore, it remains for this writer merely to observe that 
from 1854 to 1908 this majestic playhouse, the second 
largest of the old style of theatres in America, has har- 
bored practically every noted player or singer that Boston 
has welcomed, and during the regime of the original 
owner, Orlando Tompkins, the theatre was conducted 
upon far more artistic lines than has characterized its 
recent history. 

This truly magnificent auditorium has been utilized of 
late for the production of plays by a stock company 
under the management of B. F. Keith who leased the 
house two years ago to prevent its falling in the hands of 
Klaw & Erlanger during the noted vaudeville war at 
that time. Mr. Keith's vaudeville palace being imme- 
diately adjoining the Boston Theatre, the fate of the 

of 0@u0rc anD tfte Drama 185 

latter is hard to forecast, but it would be by no means 
surprising to find this grand old house used permanently 
as a "Picture resort" before another lustrum has passed.* 

The subject of "Moving pictures" cannot be ignored in 
this volume, and its importance is now recognized the 
world over. The advent of "The Cinematograph" at B. F. 
Keith's Union Square, less than 15 years ago, was an 
occasion of much interest and J. Austin Fynes, then Mr. 
Keith's general manager, made the prophecy that in less 
than ten years the Motion Picture would replace the 
vaudeville theatre of that period. Mr. Fynes perhaps fig- 
ured too close, but this momentous statement is not so 
far from practical truth as the words would indicate. 
Only a few days before Christmas, 1907, in the hallway 
of the Times Building, just as I was taking the elevator 
to the offices of a friend, a brilliant promoter of one of 
these now countless picture concerns accosted me and in 
the few words of converse that took place, he repeated 
Fynes' prophecy. 

In order that the readers of this volume may obtain an 
adequate conception of what the "Phonophone" is, it 
may be stated that persistent efforts at progress have 
finally resulted in the virtual combination of the moving 
picture with the phonograph, and the achievement to 
date, while by no means perfect, is really indicating that 
if this progress continues to expand, then indeed is it 
possible that the prophecy is likely to come true. Who 
shall say, if some day, perhaps, the public that has paid 
its $2.00 a seat with great reluctance, will not be invited 
to actually see its favorite plays and players in the form 
of talking-moving pictures! 

*Eugene Tompkins died in February, 1909. The immediate 
future of the Boston Theatre has been determined since the 
above was written, and the house reverts to Klaw and Erlanger. 

186 JFortp gears 2D&$erfcation 

Great problems surely will be worked out in this field 
in the next five years and in order that an illustration may 
be shown, it should be stated that even to-day, when the 
crudeness of the talking picture is evident, that it is 
possible to see plays that have been posed for and re- 
hearsed by prominent players with the consent of the 
best-known and influential managers in the theatrical 
world to-day. When the manner in which this problem 
is working out is conceived and its full meaning grasped, 
then indeed is it possible, and even probable, that in but 
a few years from now the historian of music and the 
drama will have a decidedly unique condition to recite. 

The writer recently asked a famous vaudeville magnate 
who has benefited greatly through the transforming of 
three of his beautiful theatres into moving picture resorts, 
what great difference there was between vaudeville at 
these three theatres and its present entertainment, which 
consists of the regulation picture show which now pre- 
vails in five hundred and fifty-one theatres and halls in 
Greater New York. 

"The difference is only noticeable," said the magnate, 
"on Saturday night, when instead of sending to the bank 
to draw from $13,000 to $15,000 to meet the salaries of 
these three theatres, we now pay the electrician and one 
or two assistants, possibly $150 in all."* 

A few years ago when the writer felt certain he saw 
the "handwriting on the wall" he made a somewhat 
strenuous effort to interest an energetic and influential 
man who could advance capital, and laid out before this 
man and his brother the very campaign that has in the 

*After the Cinematograph came the American Biograph, in- 
vented by Hermann Casler, and it served to create a furore. 
Then came the Vitagraph. While at this time, with men like 
George Klein striving to achieve the impossible, one may not 
prophesy even now the full scope of the Moving Picture. 

of C@tt0tc attO t&e Drama m 

last few years collectively made millions of dollars profit, 
but, alas ! like so many other escapes that I have had from 
intimacy with dame fortune, the pessimism of my two 
confreres was such that despite my willing desire to 
"show" them that I could transform fifty theatres into 
picture houses in almost as many hours, they failed to 
enthuse and almost before another winter had passed, all 
my plans were panning out with a vengeance at every 
turn. It was the same in vaudeville; as a pioneer with- 
out the necessary capital to "stand the gaff," I was 
stormed out of theatres during the "period of education," 
theatres that to-day yield fortunes to their lucky pos- 

The reader's pardon is asked for these personal allu- 
sions, but I have thought that many indeed would recall 
the campaign I indulged in, trying to educate the public 
to modern vaudeville, and in Hartford, Connecticut, in the 
Spring of 1899, a programme embracing an array of 
stellar features played to less than $100 receipts in one 
week. In Syracuse there was a bill that included eight 
"headline acts" that to-day could not be duplicated at any 
price ; in twelve performances the receipts were not more 
than $175, while the spectacle of a Saturday night with 
gross receipts of $7.00 was absolutely amazing. 

Less than five years ago in Holyoke, Mass., a vaude- 
ville company with May Yohe at its head, in six perform- 
ances, played $118, and that charming English actress, 
Miss Jessie Millward, who dignified vaudeville as did no 
other player that can be recalled, played in Albany, N. Y., 
a city of importance where she was favorably known as 
Henry Irving's leading lady, to exactly $28.00 at an even- 
ing performance. 

If, with the introduction of continuous performances 
at popular prices, vaudeville got a firm foothold in New 
York and one theatre after the other changed from the 

188 jfottp gears 2D60ertoation 

legitimate to this class of amusement, then it was also 
reserved to the moving picture shows to materially les- 
sen the interest of the public in vaudeville, and only the 
high-class ones survived. The running expenses of a 
moving picture theatre are so small that admission to 
them is as low as five cents. Yet for all that it is an 
entertainment for young and old. Any such shows, con- 
ducted in a proper manner, are certainly to be com- 
mended. They are not only a source of amusement, but 
can be made highly instructive, especially to children. 

The motion picture house of the Barren Amusement 
Company at 145th street and Broadway, and the five dif- 
ferent houses of the Nicoland Amusement Company are 
all safe, elegantly fitted and well ventilated. There is a 
complete change of pictures daily and the best French 
novelties are exhibited. The singers of the illustrated 
songs do their work artistically. Mr. T. H. Barren is 
president and general manager of the Barren Amuse- 
ment Company, Inc., and secretary and general manager 
of the Nicoland Amusement Company, Inc. It appears 
to me that the moving picture has come to stay and many 
improvements are still likely to develop. 

of $ti0tc anD tfje Drama 189 


W. G. Smyth, now general manager of David Belasco's 
enterprises, was born in St. Louis, Mo., November igth, 
1854. He started in the theatrical business in 1886, as 
manager of Dickson's Sketch Club, in which company 
were, Augustus Thomas, Edgar Smith (the author of 
most of the Weber & Field shows), Frank David, (a 
prominent comic opera comedian, now dead), Delia Fox 
and others. This was the professional start of all the 
above people ; all were amateurs when the company was 

Smyth then formed a partnership with Charles Mat- 
thews and sent on tour Charles Reed and Willie Collier. 

After Reed's death in 1892, the firm of Smyth and Mat- 
thews was dissolved and Smyth afterwards managed Wil- 
liam Collier, producing "One of the Boys," "Mr. Smooth," 
and "On the Quiet," the latter by Augustus Thomas. 

In 1892 the firm of Smyth and Rice was formed, and 
produced "My Friend from India," "The Man from 
Mexico," and other plays. 

In 1903 Smyth joined Mr. David Belasco's staff as 
manager of his Booking Department, in which position 
he has remained ever since. 

R. G. Knowles has achieved several records since his 
stage debut at the Olympic Theatre in Chicago, thirty- 
one years ago. His greatest field, however, has been 
England and the British possessions, where he is the 
supreme attraction. It was he who opened up London 

190 JFortp gears D&sertratfott 

to American artists. No one ever played the lengthy 
engagements he has in London; despite the reign of 
various eras of celebrities no one has yet reached 
Knowles' salary in Great Britain. 

Knowles is also famed as a traveler and a brilliant 
lecturer. He has been three and a half times around the 
world, twice through South Africa from Capetown to the 
Congo, and American audiences are occasionally enter- 
tained by his pictorial lecture entitled "Old Worlds 
Through New Eyes," in which many valuable motion 
pictures taken by Knowles himself are shown. 

Miss Gertrude Coghlan, who appeared in "The Travel- 
ing Salesman," is a daughter of the late Charles Coghlan 
and a niece of Rose Coghlan. She made her stage debut 
in her father's production of "The Royal Box" in 1898, 
at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, under H. C. Miner's di- 

She assumed the role of Juliet and was so successful 
that in 1902, she was starred in the same play, a year 
later, was the star of the production of "Alice of Old 
Vincennes," which was followed by appearances in 
"Becky Sharp," "Jocelyn," "Sorceress" and "The Lion 
and the Mouse," always with success and leading up to 
her present engagement at the Gaiety Theatre, in "The 
Traveling Salesman." 

Speaking of Miss Coghlan recalls the author of "The 
Traveling Salesman;" his rise has been speedy as well 
as substantial. 

James Forbes was born in Salem, Ontario, in 1871. He 
was educated at the college in Gait, and became dramatic 
editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, which position he, 
later, held with the "New York World." His ability 
attracted the attention of Frank Perley, who engaged 
him as advance agent; he held a similar position with 

of S@ti0tc attD tfie Drama 191 

Amelia Bingham. When Henry B. Harris became a 
factor as a producing manager, Forbes became his gen- 
eral manager, and during this period was a contributor 
to Harper's and Ainslee's. 

"The Extra Girl," one of a series of dialogue which 
appeared in the latter publication, served as a basis for 
the one act sketch entitled "The Chorus Lady," presented 
for three years in vaudeville by Rose Stahl and afterwards 
amplified into a four act play which established Miss 
Stahl in the foremost rank of American stars. 

Mr. Forbes' second play, "The Traveling Salesman," 
has more than duplicated the success of "The Chorus 

The most interesting data I can recall of Sam Bernard 
would not be as serviceable as his own letter to me, from 
which I extract the following: 

"My father had a fish and fruit store and we had a big 
woodshed full of boxes. I cleaned these out and made 
a stage of boxes, with a regular curtain and footlights, 
too. My partner was the son of a grocer across the way, 
and he used to 'swipe' the candles for the footlights and 
all the perishable 'props,' like cake and bread and candy. 
We charged a penny for these shows, and I played on a 
banjo, sang and danced, and did a sort of a monologue 
even then. 

"At that time there used to be a theatre down Five 
Points way which was run by newsboys and had only 
newsboy players. It was called the "Grand Duke's The- 
atre" and was down in a sub-cellar. While I was going 
to school I would run away and do German songs there. 
Then I got ambitious. I wanted to get into a regular 
theatre, but they wouldn't have me. I was determined, 
so I used to appear at benefits. I remember that I saw a 
bill of a benefit for an actor named Wills, over in Brook- 

192 JFortp gears 2D&0erfcation 

lyn. I hunted him up, and when I found him I took off 
my hat and asked him very politely if I could appear at 
his benefit. I had with me the programmes I had played 
at other affairs. That's what I used to do for practice 
and to grow. 

"After that I was in a nickel theatre at Coney Island. 
Weber and Fields were there, too, but I would not have 
anything to do with them. They played in a beer hall 
where there was no entrance fee. 'Go 'way,' I used to 
say to them. 'You can't talk to me. Any one can see you 
for a glass of beer, but they have to pay real money five 
cents to see me.' How we laughed over those early 
days in our recent fat years. 

"I played every place and everywhere for practice. I 
remember that I appeared in Cleveland, in Frank Drew's 
Dime Museum, and came there from the one that he 
ran in Providence. I was in Providence for over a year, 
and we used to do six shows a day. We did every- 
thing. Once Hines and Remington and I just the three 
of us did 'Erminie.' We put on 'Pinafore,' too, but we 
had a regular stock operatic company then. 

"I had to work and work all the time, and now it makes 
me laugh and it makes me mad, too to hear young 
fellows who have been on the stage three or four months 
talking as if they knew it all and had been through every- 
thing. I don't claim to have been through everything 
myself. No man can, but I've played in all sorts of 
companies and all sorts of parts until I think I do know 
something of my business." 

There is not to be found, in all the theatrical history 
of these United States, a more striking illustration of the 
perpetuity of an agreement between actors than the long 
and wholly unequalled career of Mclntyre and Heath. 
Just thirty-five years ago, in 1874, the unity of these two 

of 6ti0ic and tfte Drama 193 

minstrels was created; their first appearance together 
took place in one of those variety theatres which Texas 
was noted for called The Tivoli at San Antonio. 

They remained in Texas until 1877 when they opened 
in Chicago at Hamlin's Coliseum, the site of the Grand 
Opera House. Then they joined a circus, for two months, 
and followed this move by joining Sells Brother's Wagon 
Circus, dancing in the side show. 

In the Spring of 1878, Mclntyre and Heath appeared 
at Madison Square Garden in New York with Howe's 
London Circus. In the Fall of '78 the first Mclntyre and 
Heath Minstrels were organized and met with varying 
success, so that in the Spring of 1879, the comedians were 
again seen under the white tents, having joined Ander- 
son's Wagon Show. 

It was in the Fall of that year, however, that the boys 
made their first big New York hit at Tony Pastor's. 
They were the first to introduce to New York audiences 
the genuine buck and wing type of dancing of which they 
had made a study while in the South. 

In 1880, Alice Gates, the comic opera star, produced a 
musical trifle called "Long Branch" and Mclntyre and 
Heath were the features of the piece, after which the 
Mclntyre and Heath Minstrels were permanently organ- 
ized and became a fixture in the South and West. 

It is needless to speak of their career further than to 
note that to-day, after having presented the same spe- 
cialty for nearly three decades, the team is receiving 
$2,000 a week in vaudeville. Their remarkable success 
under Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger's directions in "The 
Hamtree" is too well known to require recital here. A 
new production is now being prepared for this popular 
team, to be presented in the Fall of 1909, under the 
direction of Klaw and Erlanger. It should be recorded 

194 jfortp gears Dftsertoatiott 

here that Otto T. Thompson has been giving effective 
support to Mclntyre and Heath during the last twenty 
years of their career. 

George Arliss, whose artistic status was defined long 
before the stellar honors which are now his, were realized, 
caught the stage fever in the school days at a time when 
his system was weakened by mathematical problems. He, 
together with two boy friends, the sons of Nellie Farren, 
the popular burlesque actress of the Famous Gaiety 
Theatre in London, had possessed themselves more or less 
unlawfully, of certain wigs, tights, colored sashes and 
other inflammatory articles. 

The members of the Arliss family had heartlessly con- 
signed the boys to the cellar that their ravings might 
not annoy the neighbors. They began to write plays, 
paint scenery, make costumes and to bore holes in the 
gaspipe for footlights; the servants were the auditors. 
Thus began the fever from which Arliss has never re- 

In due course of time, Arliss became a super in a 
melodramatic theatre on the Surrey side of London, and 
for the next ten years he appeared in every corner of 
England, reaching the dignity of a London engagement 
through the influence of Fred Latham. Here he re- 
mained until Mrs. Patrick Campbell brought him to this 
country in the Fall of 1901. 

Since then a series of remarkable successes have been 
rolled up to his credit, principally in New York; his ef- 
forts with Mrs. Fiske's Company being so worthy and 
notable as to attract vast interest and resulted in his as- 
sumption of a stellar career, the development of which 
will be watched particularly by those who have been em- 
boldened to prophesy that Richard Mansfield's successor 
may yet be found in this progressive player. 

John D. Mishler organized the first theatre circuit in 

of Su0tc anD tfte Drama 


America in 1872; he retired from theatre management at 
Reading in 1906. He was interested* in the Lyric 

Theatre, Allentown, 
and was a foremost cit- 
izen of Reading, lead- 
ing all public affairs 
and charitable organi- 
zations. His wealth is 
said to be extensive, 
and his career, for a 
quarter of a century, 
was one that he may 
well be proud of. 

I. C. Mishler is a 
cousin of John D., and 
is, undoubtedly, bound 
to succeed the founder 
of the first chain of the- 
atres in Pennsylvania. 

MISHLER THEATRE, ALTOONA, PA. **e is now the manager 

of the new Mishler 

Theatre in Altoona and has theatres in Trenton and 
Johnstown, Pa. These three theatres are conducted on 
the same policy which for so long a time made John 
D. Mishler a central figure in the theatrical world. 

As an illustration of what can now be expected in a 
theatre of the one night stand class, it need only be stated 
that Miss Eleanor Robson played in one night at Altoona 
to $3,258, February 15, 1906, while on January 21, 1907, 
Wright Lorimer played, also in one performance, to 
$2,973, in the same city. 

Shades of Colonel Haverly and Henry E. Abbey look 
down upon us and tell us that it was not always thus. 

Louis Mann was born April 2oth, 1865, in New York 
City and he made his debut at the Old Stadt Theatre on 

196 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

the Bowery in Grimm's "Snowflake" about Christmas 
week of 1869. 

Mann began to attract great attention with Geo. 
Lederer's production of "The Lady Slavey," but in the 
writer's opinion, his most artistic creation in the musical 
comedy line was as the hotel proprietor in "The Girl from 
Paris." Recently he has evinced a desire to separate 
himself from the lighter class of comedy. 

It remains to be seen, whether Mann, who is an actor 
of great intensity and sincerity, will reach the goal he 
seeks ; as a rule it has not been possible to alter the public 
taste at will. It must not be forgotten that such great 
artistic souls as were possessed by George L. Fox, and 
George S. Knight, only served to send them to premature 
graves through sheer disappointment. 

The first glimpse I ever got of Lee Harrison was in 
1881 at John Hamlin's Theatre on Clark Street in Chi- 
cago. There was a production of "Mother and Son" 
running, presented by A. M. Palmer's Union Square 
Theatre Co. 

Lee Harrison came on the stage on this occasion as a 
newsboy, but the manner in which he walked on and off 
and his poise while before his audience was such as to 
give the impression that he had been thrown on because 
of some discrepancy or vacancy of a temporary nature 
in that cast. At any rate, he was not seen on that stage 
again. For several years afterward he sold Librettos, 
having found his way to the Metropolis. If, as a lad, 
Harrison did not shine conspicuously, his progress has 
nevertheless been rapid and no comedian can boast of a 
larger clientele of personal friends. Occasionally, Harri- 
son adds to his financial resources with his pen, and his 
writings on well known players are looked forward to by 
a number of readers. Harrison in 1882 became a manager 

of Sti0tc anD t&e Drama 197 

he presented an Irish play, "The Wicklow Postman," 
with Eugene O'Rourke as star. 

Thinking of this Harrison episode at Hamlin's natur- 
ally recalls the Hamlin Family of which John A. was the 
head and founder. Hamlin made a fortune on some kind 
of oil and left the theatre on Clark Street to his sons, of 
which there are three. 

Harry Hamlin was a veritable college boy and a foot- 
ball enthusiast. More than once he has come to New 
York on crutches, his head all bound up from the effects 
of a game in which he was a noted participant. 

Fred Hamlin gave every promise of becoming a power 
in the amusement world. In fact, from "The Wizard of 
Oz" alone he cleared a large fortune. His death, three 
years ago, put an end to the operations of his firm, which 
had become decidedly prominent. 

George Hamlin, who as an infant used to sell tickets 
when his elder brothers would go out to lunch, gave little 
indication in those days that he would become one of the 
best known tenors of this country, and that his education 
would run along the most classical of musical studies. 
He has become as well known in his particular field as 
Caruso is on the Grand Opera Stage. 

John A. Hamlin, the father, after having lived to a ripe 
old age and amassing a large fortune, passed away in 
Chicago, about a year ago. His theatre, the Grand Opera 
House of Chicago is now managed by Harry Hamlin, 
and is of a semi-independent nature, that is, it plays all 
sorts of attractions without any fear or favor. 

Frank Mclntyre was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
He received his early education there, and, later, took an 
ecclesiastical course, preparatory to entering the priest- 
hood. He changed his mind in 1906, and being a musician 
of some ability, took up newspaper work, making a spe- 

198 jfortg gears 2D&gertmtion 

cialty of musical criticisms. Later he dropped newspaper 
work, making his professional debut as an actor in 1902 
with Frank Keenan in "Hon. John Grigsby." 

He has appeared in several New York productions with 
Mrs. Fiske and Nat Goodwin, also as Billy Saunders in 
Robert Edeson's "Strongheart" and Bubby Dumble in 
"Classmates." Mr. Mclntyre's biggest successes were 
with the same stars, up to the present tremendous hit as 
Bob Blake, the star part in "The Traveling Salesman," 
Gaiety Theatre, New York. 

Miss Emma Thursby, now conducting a vocal studio in 
this city, was at the height of her artistic zenith a quarter 
of a century ago, and no singer can be more pleasantly 
recalled. Like Anna Louise Gary she retired from the 
concert platform while her triumphs were unbounded, 
and to see her to-day one would hardly believe that she 
has been so long absent from the musical world, as a 
public singer. This superb artist will acknowledge that 
she owes to Maurice Strakosch much that she was en- 
abled to achieve. 

It is doubtful if those who have chronicled the history 
of Music and Grand Opera in America have accorded to 
this great artist-impresario his proper place. In any 
event it shall be my pleasant province to state that it was 
he who planned the Metropolitan Opera House many 
years before that majestic enterprise came into being, 
and to Maurice Strakosch it is also due that the American 
public were privileged to hear Wagner's "Ring der 
Nibelungen" as soon as it did, he having made the con- 
tract with Herr Niemann which made its production 

Maurice was the oldest of the Strakosch brothers, and 
he was a pianist of distinction; in his youth he was a 
prodigy. He was Adelina Patti's impresario when, as a 
child, she sang at Trippler Hall. He married Amalia 






Stars of Opera, Concert and Dratna. 

of 00u0ic anti tfie Drama 199 

Patti, a sister of Adelina and Carlotta, and who, I believe, 
is living to-day in Paris. A son by the marriage Robert 
is now an impresario and musical agent in Paris, and 
has been in America quite often, being identified with the 
operatic ventures of "Uncle Max;" at one time he was 
employed by my brother. Robert Strakosch is a cousin 
of Edgar Strakosch, who has had a long career in the 
business department of grand opera, and who is now in 
San Francisco. 

Another of the younger generation of Strakosches is 
Carl who is a son of Ferdinand Strakosch. Carl, who 
had been her manager for many years, married Clara 
Louis Kellogg, and the two have led a happy life indeed. 

The Strakosches and the Graus had quite a monopoly 
of matters musical in America in the span ranging from 
1865 to 1885. Jacob Grau was the first of all the Graus, 
and is often referred to in these pages; he came to 
America in 1853. His first venture in grand opera was at 
Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati in 1863, where the 
illustrious La Grange and the winsome Piccolomini were 
the stars. When he opened at the Academy of Music in 
New York, to these were added Clara Louise Kellogg, 
the great tenor Brignoli, Amodio, Susini, and Carl 
Formes, the greatest basso that ever lived. This truly 
great organization also sang at the beautiful Crosby 
Opera House in Chicago; it was Jacob Grau who dedi- 
cated that superb edifice. 

Aside from grand opera Jacob Grau's first musical en- 
terprise was Thalberg the pianist, whose first concert tour 
he directed. Thalberg was induced to invest some of his 
earnings in America as a pianist, in a grand opera venture, 
but I cannot recall the impresario's name with whom he 
was affiliated. The result, however, is clearly stamped 
on my memory as being disastrous. 

Ole Bull, the great violinist, was also under Jacob 

200 jfottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

Grau's direction and he too followed Thalberg's example, 
aspiring to the direction of the Academy of Music, which 
he did with much flourish and great promises ; two weeks 
sufficed for Ole Bull, and his experience was a vivid 
realization of Max Maretzek's prophecy, that a month 
of grand opera management would wipe out the Ole 
Bull fortune. 

Emma Howson is another of the artists of long ago 
who, like Anna Louise Gary and Emma Thursby, we have 
still with us. Ambitious singers of this generation are 
reveling in the benefits to be derived from their studies 
under this truly superb example of perfect vocalism. A 
point worthy of special note is the fact that Miss Howson 
was the original Josephine in "Pinafore," in London, and 
W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote especially 
for her the beautiful ballad from that opera, "A Simple 
Sailor Lowly Born." Together with the famous English 
tenor, Sims Reeves, she sang in the much discussed 
"Beggar's Opera," throughout Great Britain. In America 
Miss Howson passed through a long and noteworthy 
career, creating Bettina in "La Mascotte," the title role in 
"Olivette," in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas she was 
perhaps without a rival at any period. 

Her brother, John Howson, was one of the best known 
and most capable light opera comedians of the last thirty 
years, his greatest triumph being achieved as Favart in 
"Madame Favart," an Offenbachian work which, in the 
original French, was given in the days of poor Marie 

The Howsons were as gifted as they were numerous 
one of the brothers, Frank, I believe, is musical director 
at present. Memories pile on fast with thoughts of 
the Howsons ; the Brahams are naturally recalled. 

Dave Braham, the oldest of this family of musical direc- 
tors, was the genius who composed the music for all of 

of 8ii0ic anO tfie Drama 201 

the songs and marches that Edward Harrigan and Tony 
Hart and their aids sang for a generation, with so much 
success. Braham was perhaps the most prolific composer 
that America ever produced ; had he lived in a later gen- 
eration, he surely would have ranked with the famed 
composers of light opera and musical comedy of this 
time. He was satisfied to confine his efforts to the 
Harrigan productions; it should be remembered that he 
was a brother-in-law of Edward Harrigan. 

John and Harry Braham are musical directors of dis- 
tinction ; both are, at present, active in this field. Harry 
was the first husband of Lillian Russell. 

Ellen Beach Yaw, the American prima donna, comes of 
an old and excellent New York family, but the larger 
portion of her life was spent in California which she calls 
her home. 

It so happened that just when she was entering upon 
her career of professional study, she had the good fortune 
to come under the care and guidance of that gifted and 
loveable woman Mme. Hervor Tarpadie, then as now, a 
teacher of singing in New York. This remarkable woman 
carefully and religiously trained her for the great work 
she was destined to perform, and the future prima donna 
went directly from her hands to the care of the greatest 
masters of Europe, whence she appeared a finished and 
remarkable artist. 

Miss Yaw was sent to Paris where she studied for three 
years under the exacting hand of Mme. Marchesi, after 
which she was sent to Italy where she learned all her 
Italian roles. She made her debut in Rome, singing the 
role of Lucia in "Lucia di Lammermoor," with tremen- 
dous success. Later, she sang with great success in other 
parts of Italy, France and England, making her debut 
in France as Ophelia in the Opera of Hamlet. 

After these European successes Miss Yaw returned to 

202 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

her native land and made her first appearance at the 
Metropolitan Opera House, March 2ist, 1908, scoring a 
veritable triumph. Seldom if ever has there been such a 
reception given any artist. Miss Yaw was recalled nine 
times, midst shouts of applause and the waving of hand- 

Miss Yaw is called "The matchless high soprano of the 
World," from the fact that she can sing the highest note 
ever recorded, singing within one tone of double high C. 

The writer has alluded elsewhere in these records to 
the remarkable longevity of the unity between Messrs. 
Mclntyre and Heath. There are, however, several other 
instances, not only of the perpetuity of joint agreement 
between artists, but also of the prolonged favor which an 
individual offering by these artists would be received. 
John C. Rice and Sallie Cohen have been before the 
vaudeville public, well, for a long time. Mr. Rice, who 
is one of the best light comedians on the American stage, 
periodically indulges in starring tours. Occasionally he 
would leave vaudeville to be a co-star with Miss May 
Irwin, whose success never was so great as when Rice 
was with her. 

Sallie Cohen is surely a veritable child of the stage. I 
recall her first as one of genial Bob Miles' Juvenile Pina- 
fore Company, of which Julia Marlowe was also a member 
fancy the illustrious Julia as an "also" to-day and that 
wasn't yesterday by any means. Let it be said that Sallie 
Cohen is well worthy of her position as co-star with Rice, 
aside from the marital relation between them. This team 
has been constantly climbing the salary limits, commenc- 
ing at $100 a week; this has been increased until now 
$600 is gladly paid them. 

Maurice Barrymore was in the thick of matters 
theatrical during his entire active career, in fact, with the 
exception of a period of about two years at the end, he 





Impresarios of Grand and Comic Opera. 

of fi@it$ic anD tfie Drama 203 

was always a prime factor. Barrymore wrote one play, 
"Najesda," and it is the writer's opinion that the com- 
parative failure of this production was the first cause of 
his mental trouble. In any event he always referred to 
this play to me when indulging in eulogy or in a 
reminiscent mood. When he entered vaudeville and pro- 
duced Augustus Thomas' "A Man About Town" he was 
greatly shocked to find that a serious play was not as 
popular as comedy. The subject of Maurice Barrymore 
would be an ideal one for a lengthy treatise. The writer 
knew him well, acted as his manager, and had his con- 
fidence. If poor "Barry" had only delayed his produc- 
tion of "Najesda" we might have had him with us still; 
for there can be no doubt that he never was reconciled to 
the fate of this, his first and only play offered before a 
New York audience. Mr. Barrymore's sons, Lionel and 
Jack, appeared with him in vaudeville occasionally; his 
daughter Ethel had not yet attracted attention while 
"Barry" lived. How he would have reveled in her 
triumphs! Poor "Barry!" prosperity and renown came 
to all his children after he had departed this life. 

Marcella Sembrich, at the time that these pages go to 
press, will have sung her last note on the grand opera 
stage, for in the case of the great Polish Soprano, the 
decision to retire from all but concert appearances, may 
be accepted as an absolute ultimatum. It was on the 
night of October 24th, 1883, a little over a quarter of a 
century ago, that the one singer who can justly be com- 
pared to Adelina Patti at her best, first sang before an 
American audience, the occasion being the second sub- 
scription night of the first season of grand opera in The 
Metropolitan opera house. Madame Sembrich, Marcella 
Kohansky, was born more than half a century ago in a 
small town in Poland. Her parents were poor musicians. 
Marcella was given piano and violin lessons by her 

204 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

father as soon as she had reached the age of five. At the 
age of twelve she who was destined to become one of 
the world's greatest artists, contributed to the family 
support by playing dance music at wedding parties. 
Then Marcella went to a Polish conservatory where she 
made the acquaintance of her present husband, Herr 
Stengel, who became her piano teacher. It is well worth 
noting that she perfected herself as an instrumentalist, 
being a proficient violinist and pianist at twelve. The 
future career of this now illustrious artiste was based 
upon the solidest possible foundation. It was at the 
advice of a renowned professor of music in Vienna, 
Julius Epstein, that the youthful Sembrich decided to 
devote herself, permanently, to singing, always continu- 
ing her instrumental studies. She studied under Rokitan- 
sky and the younger Lamperti, and, in 1879, made her 
debut in opera in Athens in "I Puritani." As a little girl 
she heard Adelina Patti and it is truthfully stated that 
for hours, on a freezing day, she stood in front of an 
opera house, having saved a few pennies enough to 
purchase a seat in the highest gallery. Madame Sem- 
brich tells this experience often. 

On the night of February 6th, 1909, at the Metropolitan 
Opera House, Marcella Sembrich was honored, as has 
been no other singer of her time. The night was of 
historic interest and illustrates vividly the stability of 
this one career. Her debut in America and her farewell 
to Grand Opera being effected in the establishment 
wherein the major portion of her artistic life had been 
spent. Max Hirsch, the benevolent and patriarchal 
appearing treasurer of this same opera house, was per- 
haps the only one in that vast auditorium on this gala 
night who, like Sembrich herself, had spent all of these 
twenty-five years in that historic edifice. But Max, 
praise heaven! we still have with us and who, more than 

of Su0tc ana t&e Drama 205 

he, has smoothed the path of audiences and singers in the 
eventful quarter of a century that has passed? 

Bessie Abbott, who has been a valuable member of the 
Metropolitan Opera House Company, under Herr Con- 
ried, was one of the famous Abbott Sisters who ap- 
peared in Edward E. Rice's production of "1492" at the 
Garden Theatre. This duo had much vogue in vaudeville, 
for several years afterwards when, as street singers, their 
rendition of plaintive melodies was a never to be forgot- 
ten treat. It was Jean De Reszke who first was attracted 
by the beautiful voice of Bessie and he it was who pre- 
pared her for the artistic career which has since been 
hers. More than one famous prima donna of to-day has 
Jean to thank for her career, and I recall that a daughter 
of Meyer Cohen, now manager for Charles K. Harris, 
the music publisher, Vivienne Fidelio by name, was 
given her tuition wholly gratuitous and is, I believe, 
yet undergoing her studies with the famous Polish tenor. 

An artiste whose entire career has been replete with 
worthy achievements and whom it is a pleasure to see 
once more installed on Broadway is Rose Coghlan, who 
came to America in the early yo's and was by far the most 
imposing figure in the notable organization at Wallack's 
Theatre, then located at isth Street and Broadway. And 
the history of Rose Coghlan is a repetition of the history 
of the productions of English and old comedies that for 
so long were customary at Wallack's playhouse. 

Ten years ago this charming and unrivaled player was 
permitted to enter the vaudeville field, at a period when 
there was not in all the world an actress competent to 
replace her in the line she had made her own. It is a 
sad commentary on what is claimed to be "artistic pro- 
gress" that though Rose Coghlan would always create a 
furore when figuring in any of the productions which Mr. 
Charles Frohman would present at intervals, she was 

206 Jfortp gears 2D60er*mtion 

permitted to return to the variety stage where her com- 
pensation has not been in proportion to the reputation 
she has achieved or the tremendous personal following 
which her name has never failed to maintain. Miss 
Coghlan's adopted daugher, Rosalind, entered upon her 
stage career in 1902 and is now with "The Traveling 

In "Madame Fifi" Rose Coghlan was seen to revel in 
one of those roles which ever received such delicious 
treatment in her hands, that of a sporting woman with 
a propensity for horse-racing and games of chance; 
though the role was not supposed to be important, the 
finesse with which she delineated the character made it 
stand out so prominently that the production became al- 
most a stellar one for her. Miss Grace George, however, 
was the one to attract the most serious attention in this 
production of "Madame Fifi." I am not sure but that 
this was her stage debut ; at any rate, it was the first time 
that she became at all conspicuous in the field of the 
theatre, and her interpretation of a modest maiden was 
so wholesome, and presented such a striking contrast to 
the surrounding element in this decidedly risque play, 
that the press accorded to her an amount of praise far 
beyond that which the role called for, or which had been 
anticipated by the management; from this time forth 
Miss George made vast progress, gathering new laurels 
with each successive effort. Of course, after she became 
Mrs. Wm. A. Brady that astute manager arranged an 
entourage for her which at this time is still in the ascend- 
ant. In Victorien Sardou's delicious comedy "Divor- 
cons," Miss George has given to American play-goers, 
in the role of Cyprienne, absolutely the best and most 
artistic portrayal of the very difficult character that this 
country has ever been called upon to enjoy, despite the 
fact that such great artists as Judic, Theo, and Aimee, 


att& tfje Drama 


not to speak of Rejane, have bestowed on that role their 
greatest and most intelligent efforts. The writer would 
suggest to Mr. Brady that there should be no hesitation 
on his part in undertaking to have the Parisian play- 
goers and critics pass on this Cyprienne, and a further 
suggestion is offered that, in such a case, Mr. Max Free- 
man, who as the waiter is absolutely unapproachable, be 
included in the dramatis personae, since, not even in the 
gay French metropolis, would it be possible to secure 
any player who could so artistically and so truthfully 
portray the typical French waiter of every period. 

It should be emphatically stated that the day, when it 
has injured a player of renown of either sex to enter 
vaudeville, has long since passed, if indeed at any time 
it was not possible to make the excursion with grace and 
dignity. At any rate, Robert Milliard, Lillian Russell, 
David Warfield, Louis Mann, Sam Bernard, Henry 
Miller, Charles Dickson, Grace Van Studdiford, Digby 
Bell, Charles Hawtrey, Marie Wainwright, Jessie Mill- 
ward, Arnold Daly and in fact all but a few distinctive 
and world-renowned stars have gone back and forth from 
the legitimate stage to vaudeville and back to the legiti- 
mate repeatedly, always increasing their value and adding 
to their reputation. 

A few instances are recorded where undoubtedly the 
best ends of art and posterity would have been served if 
the artiste would not have appeared out of her seeming 

Clara Morris was well fitted with a vehicle, yet her 
vaudeville enterprise was resented. But let it not be said 
that Clara Morris has ever been seen to disadvantage or 
lacking "her extraordinary power" for no more artistic 
piece of acting has ever been seen on any stage than this 
great emotional actress' rendition of Renee Dinard in 
"Blind Justice" in the vaudeville theatres. 

2os JFortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

A few years ago a revival of the "Two Orphans" with 
an all-star cast, illustrated the truth of what is above 
stated. It was Clara Morris who was the star and it was 
the potency of her name, all over the country, that caused 
the great financial success which has been recorded by 
Messrs. Liebler & Co. for this great revival. 

At Riverdale, N. Y., a beautiful country residence was 
purchased by Clara Morris in the days of her great pros- 
perity and here the great actress and her venerable hus- 
band, Frederick Harriott, have lived for nearly twenty 
years. It is the incentive which this home of hers supplies 
that has aided the distinguished woman to evolve the 
many literary works which have come from her pen in 
recent years. Nothing can be more sad to relate than the 
possibility that, unless friends again intervene, the mag- 
nificent property will be sold to foreclose a mortgage held 
against it.* 

Minnie Seligman made her first appearance on the 
stage in "lolanthe," which was presented by an organiza- 
tion of amateurs at the Academy of Music, in 1883, for 
a single performance. Miss Seligman was the Phyllis, 
and the Lord Chancellor was interpreted by Michael 
Morton, who afterward became a professional comedian 
of light opera, and later went abroad to become one of 
the most famous playwrights of the last decade. The 
Mortons hail from England, and Martha, a sister of 
Michael, was actually the first dramatic writer of her sex 
to be accepted in a general way. Her first great success 
was "The Merchant," which had a notable run, though 
her fame began when she was proclaimed winner of 
the New York World's contest for the best play sub- 
mitted by authors of either sex. Miss Morton is now 

*A Benefit to Clara Morris has been arranged before these 
are printed at the New York Theatre. 

of Su0ic anD t&e Drama 209 

Mrs. Conheim, and she has piled up a record of suc- 
cesses that would do credit to any of our male play- 
wrights. It is not to be recalled where she has, in any 
instance, failed to score with an offering from her pen. 

Miss Grace Filkins, now meeting with much apprecia- 
tion in Charles Klein's play, "The Third Degree," at the 
Hudson Theatre, is the widow of the late Bob Filkins, 
one of the earliest and most important lieutenants of the 
late J. H. Haverly. Miss Filkins has trod the boards 
since childhood, and for several years was a member of 
Augustin Daly's Company at Daly Theatre, where, when 
opportunity was hers, she was accorded much praise 
from the press. In 1900, in conjunction with Frederick 
Bryton (a forceful actor who in "Forgiven" starred suc- 
cessfully for many years) Miss Filkins appeared in the 
vaudeville theatres, in a playlet by Augustus Thomas 
entitled "A Proper Impropriety," which to this day is 
used with success by other players. Louise Thorndyke 
Boucicault, in this same playlet, was enabled, for several 
successive seasons, to command a large honorarium and 
consecutive bookings in the same field. 

The name of Boucicault has also been perpetuated by 
the sons and daughter of the actor-dramatist. Of these 
Aubrey Boucicault has been the most conspicuous, he 
having had an active and varied career, always commend- 
able ; he has not reached a permanent stellar position such 
as would be accorded him were he to obtain a suitable 
play, though, in all his efforts, he has shown that he has 
the temperament and the magnetism that are so requisite 
for lasting favor with the play-going public. 

Of Dion Boucicault himself the writer is enabled only 
to dwell upon his masterful rendition of Conn in "The 
Shaughraun," which ran for over three hundred nights 
at Wallack's Theatre, then located at Thirteenth Street 
and Broadway. No other player ever grasped the subtle 

210 jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtton 

and delicate points with which this role abounds with 
equal grace or ability. I have heard that in the strictly 
Irish repertoire, such as "The Colleen Bawn" and "Arrah 
Na Pogue" the elder Boucicault excelled, still I can only 
recall his Conn, and the memory of it will suffice for all 

Agnes Robertson Boucicault did not have a very con- 
spicuous career in America, but in England she was very 
highly regarded, and she was there rated as one of the 
foremost actresses of her time. 

In the cast of "The Shaughraun" at Wallack's, in the 
role of Captain Molyneux, was a player whose vogue was 
at its height a quarter of a century ago. I refer to H. J. 
(Harry) Montague, and few actors in the last fifty years, 
that can be here recalled, ever possessed the affection of 
the public as he did. Unquestionably, Montague, next 
to Lester Wallack, was the most popular exponent of the 
roles allotted to the jeune premier of those days. If 
ever there was a real matinee idol he surely was the one. 
During the long run of Boucicault in "The Shaughraun" 
the stage door at Wallack's was, on matinee days, be- 
sieged by his many admirers of the gentler sex; but 
Harry Montague was also a man's man. Poor Harry, 
he was in the cast of the great "Diplomacy" company 
which played in Marshall, Texas, one night in 1879, and 
just before the company was leaving the city to go to its 
next stand a tragedy was enacted which resulted in the 
death of Benjamin Porter. 

From 1878 to 1885, an individual who cut a conspicuous 
swath in matters theatrical, in this country, was William 
W. (Hustler) Kelly. He was tall, vigorous and effer- 
vescent, his energy was undoubted and he commanded 
a very large salary as avant-courier in those years 
when he was not exploiting some star whom he delighted 
in "booming." The one actress, however, upon whom 

of 6u0ic anD t&e Drama 211 

"Hustler" Kelly poured forth his hugest efforts was 
Grace Hawthorne, who had been previously known as 
Grace Cartland, and who had indulged in a barnstorming 
career in the West, such as was characteristic of Chi- 
cago's productive talent in that period. Kelly was em- 
boldened to take Grace Hawthorne to London, and he 
preceded her there about a month. He at once set out to 
make a display of Yankee methods in the exploitation of 
an "American Celebrity," and it should be stated to his 
credit that he not only succeeded, but Grace Hawthorne 
was actually the first American actress to obtain a stellar 
success in London at a first-class theatre. Her reign was 
long, too, and Kelly has never since returned to America, 
save on a short visit to his intimates. He became quite a 
power in London and the provinces, and with one pro- 
duction, "A Royal Divorce," he made much money; as 
many as four companies have presented the play simul- 
taneously. Miss Hawthorne's best work as an actress 
was in Sardou's "Theodora," in the title role of which 
she scored an unquestioned triumph. 

HENRY WOLFSOHN, son of Dr. Benjamin Wolf- 
sohn, a prominent physician in New York in the early 
sixties, and whose mother was a Belmont by birth, cousin 
of the late August Belmont, was born in Germany, but 
came to the United States with his parents when a boy. 
He attended the College of the City of New York, from 
which he graduated. He studied music under Theodore 
Thomas, and piano under Dr. William Mason. Later 
he abandoned piano for singing, and studied voice culture 
for several years with the best masters in Europe. Re- 
turning to the United States he devoted himself to teach- 
ing, with great success. Incidentally, Mr. Wolfsohn 
undertook the management of several local concerts, in 
which he met such success that in the Autumn of 1879 
he decided to devote his entire attention to the manage- 

212 jfortp gears ffl>60ertoation 

ment of musical attractions. He rapidly brought under 
his direction an important group of the world's greatest 
artists. Among those who have visited the United 
States and Canada under his direction are Wilhelm Jos- 
effy, Rothenthal, Lilli Lehmann, Theo. Reichmann, 
Musin, Cesar Thomson, Ondricek, Minnie Hauk, De 
Pachmann, Pugno, Hugo Becker, Clara Butt, Dr. Richard 
Strauss, Weingartner, Aus Der Ohe, Bloomfield Zeisler, 
Petschnikoff, Materna, Josef Hofmann, Fritz Kreisler, 
Gerardy Guilmant, Mr. and Mrs. Henschel, Reisenauer, 
Dohnanyi, Emma Eames, Siloti, Mari Hall, Maud Powell, 
Van Rooy, Schumann-Heink, Elman, Lhevinne and many 
others. Some of the most important musical events in 
the annals of New York City have emanated from the 
fertile brain of this dean of American musical managers. 
The scheme of the Patti Festival at Madison Square 
Garden, the German Music Festival in connection with 
the Columbus celebration in 1893, the Richard Strauss 
Festival in 1904, and later, the great New York Music 
Festival of June 1909, have all been guided to success 
under the genial direction of Mr. Wolfsohn. 

G. P. Huntley, now appearing in "Kitty Grey" at the 
New Amsterdam Theatre, was born in Fermoy, Ireland, 
which is noted for a very celebrated salmon stream, 
called the Blackwater. He made his first appearance in 
his father's company in Kilkenny at the age of five. His 
father was a professor of elocution at Blackrock College, 
Dublin, for fourteen years. He used to coach the priests 
in the Shakespearean performances they used to give. 

Young Huntley kept steadily at his work from about 
the age of seventeen, from the bottom rung of the ladder, 
and kept on playing in various types of pieces. He visit- 
ed America with the Kendals, played three seasons 
throughout the United States and re-visited America 
again with "Three Little Maids" five years ago, under 

of fustic anD tfie Drama 213 

the Frohman and Edwardes* management, and then re- 
turned to London, playing broader types of character 
parts, such as Mr. Hook in "Miss Hook of Holland." He 
then went into management on his own account, and 
produced a play. He also played a season at Mr. Froh- 
man's Hicks' Theatre in London, and that brings him 
up to his present season in New York in "Kitty Grey." 

Huntley introduced a new type of "silly ass" part, and 
has broken away from the conventional stage "Johnny." 

He met his wife in the piece he is at present playing in. 
Mrs. Huntley is an American, and they have a son five 
years old, who was born at Boston. 

Edmund Breese was born in Brooklyn June 18, 1870. 
He made his first stage appearance as the leading man 
of a Western repertoire company in 1892. In 1896, he 
was engaged by Madame Rhea to play the heavy parts 
in the romantic dramas in which she toured so success- 
fully, and soon became her leading man. While in her 
company he played the roles of Napoleon in "Josephine," 
Lord Leicester in "Mary Stuart," Sartorys in "Frou 
Frou," Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing," Chysos 
in "Pygmalion and Galatea," and Shylock in "The Mer- 
chant of Venice." In 1898 he joined James O'Neiirs 
company, supporting him in such roles as Albert and 
Nortier in "The Count of Monte Cristo," Appius in "Vir- 
ginius," and Grebauval in "When Greek Meets Greek." 
He was next engaged by Liebler & Company to play 
Rochefort in "The Three Musketeers," in which he 
earned hearty commendation. In 1906 he made one of 
the chief successes of his career as John Burkett Ryder 
in Charles Klein's "The Lion and the Mouse," which ran 
more than three hundred nights at the Lyceum Theatre, 
and was taken to London, where it failed. Mr. Breese 
also appeared in "Strongheart" at the Aldwych Theatre, 
London, and in June, 1907, he returned to "The Lion and 

2M jfortp gears 2D&0erfcatfon 

the Mouse" at the Hudson Theatre, New York, and 
where he is now appearing in Charles Klein's latest play, 
"The Third Degree." 

Wm. T. Hodge was discovered by the late Jas. A. 
Herne, who was looking for someone to play the eccen- 
tric character part of Freeman Whitmarsh, the village 
man of all-work in "Sag Harbor"; and it was by the 
merest chance that he came across Hodge, externally 
the ideal for the part, on the street. He picked up an 
acquaintance with Hodge, and was delighted to find that 
the latter had had some little experience as an actor. 
Hodge's success was instantaneous, and for a number of 
years he was in great demand for similar roles in both 
musical and rural comedies. As Stubbins, in "Mrs. 
Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," he had a chance to prove 
his versatility, and showed himself a fit candidate for 
stellar honors, which were soon conferred upon him by 
Liebler & Company, under whose management he had 
played both Freeman Whitmarsh and Stubbins. His 
first starring vehicle was "The Man from Home," the 
very successful Tarkington and Wilson comedy, which 
achieved an unparalleled record of 342 performances in 
Chicago last season, and which will have no difficulty in 
exceeding those figures at the Astor Theatre, New York, 
where it is now running. 

William Lewers, now creating such favorable com- 
ments in "The Climax" at Daly's Theatre, was born in 
the city of Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands. He was 
educated in Boston. His first stage experience came at 
the old Lyceum Theatre on Fourth Avenue under Daniel 
Frohman's direction. He was also with Charles Froh- 
man for nine seasons and for two seasons with Henry B. 
Harris* production of "The Lion and the Mouse." Mr. 
Lewers also was cast for important roles with Miss Julia 
Marlowe in "The Cavalier" and with Miss Bertha Gal- 

of 9gu0tc anil tfie Drama 215 

land in "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall." He also 
succeeded Charles Cherry in "Girls," and then came his 
present great opportunity to permanently reach Broad- 
way in "The Climax." Mr. Lewers' future career should 
be along important and artistic lines if his present effort 
has any significance. His present triumph was predicted 
by many who were privileged to witness his efforts while 
a member of Maud Adams' Company. 

216 jfortp gears ffl)&0ertration 


Francis Wilson, who had been a member of a variety 
team named Mackin and Wilson, got his first chance in 
the musical comedy "Gill's Goblins," late in the '703. 
William T. Gill was the author of the piece. He was the 
same Gill who, much later, wrote "Adonis" for Ed. Rice 
and Henry E. Dixey. "Gill's Goblins" also had Paul 
Arthur in its cast. The company was managed by 
William C. Mitchell, famous in St. Louis in those days 
as the manager of Mitchell's Olympic, and who kept in 
harness up to the time of his death a few years ago. 
The business manager of the company was J. K. Burke, 
who is now associated with the United Booking offices, 
and is one of the patriarchs of the show business. Francis 
Wilson had, previously, been a member of the stock com- 
pany at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and 
it was there that he secured his artistic impetus. In the 
stock company was A. H. Canby, afterwards Wilson's 
manager for many years. 

Dewolf Hopper's early career is of much interest. He 
was born in New York of wealthy parents, and was first 
discovered by Jacob Gosche, in 1879. Gosche had been 
for many years the manager of the Theodore Thomas 
Orchestra, a classical band of musicians, and it was his 
idea to frame up a dramatic organization that would be to 
the drama what the Thomas orchestra was to music. 
Will, as Dewolf Hopper was then known, wanted to 
make a career for himself, and he persuaded his mother 

of u0tc anD tfie Drama 

a grande dame to become the financial sponsor for 
Gosche's enterprise. F. F. Mackay, who had been the 
leading character actor at the Union Square Theatre 
under Shook & Palmer, was sought out by Gosche, and 
an organization, a model one, known as The Criterion 
Comedy Company, was evolved. 

Hopper was then about twenty years of age. His ad- 
mirers will doubtless be surprised to learn that his debut 
was made in the role of Captain Hawtree in "Caste," 
the Robertson comedy. F. F. Mackay played Eccles and 
Louise Sylvester was the Polly. Others in this remark- 
able company were Frank Roberts, Ed. Lamb, William 
Gilbert and Mary Davenport. 

"Caste" did not draw as well as desired, and a German 
farce entitled "Freaks" was produced, and it was in this 
comedy that Hopper made his first notable hit, playing 
a character of extraordinary make-up and displaying a 
versatility which he never afterwards surpassed. 

The Criterion Comedy Company remained in existence 
for four years, adding "Our Boys" and a new comedy 
entitled "Our Daughters" which was an adaptation from 
L'Aronge's "Hasemans Toechter." The venture cost 
Mr. Hopper about $100,000, and he then secured a play 
written by a Chicago editor which was called "One Hun- 
dred Wives." In this venture better results were 
obtained and in one of the scenes the elongated comedian 
introduced a song which disclosed the fact that he was 
the possessor of a fine baritone voice, and this it was that 
attracted the attention of Col. John A. McCaull, who 
engaged him to create the role of Sancho in "The Queen's 
Lace Handkerchief." Ever since then Hopper has been 
a comic opera favorite. 

It will doubtless surprise many to know that Augustus 
Thomas, the author of many successful plays, and whose 
"Witching Hour" is destined to surpass all his former 

218 Jfottg gears fl)6$ertoatfan 

triumphs, was, back in 1883, the assistant treasurer of 
Pope's Theatre in St. Louis at the corner of Ninth and 
Olive Streets. Gus was at this time a handsome youth 
of about eighteen years and as popular as he was good 
looking. His first effort in play writing was a one-act 
playlet from Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett's story 
"Editha's Burglar," and it has by no means exhausted 
its usefulness even to this day. W. F. Dickson, who was 
the treasurer of the theatre, organized a clever band of 
players entitled "Dickson's Sketch Club," and Delia Fox, 
a St. Louis girl, was the Editha and made her stage debut 
in that role. The playlet was afterwards made into a full 
four-act drama. It opened at the Madison Square The- 
atre, where it ran all summer, until forced out by fall 
bookings. In the cast were Maurice Barrymore, John T. 
Sullivan, Sidney Drew, Sidney Armstrong, Phyllis Ran- 
kin and the author himself. Later Maurice Barrymore 
starred in it as "The Burglar." Nowadays it is often 
seen with stock companies. 

In the early 8o's Lillian Russell, then known as Helen 
Leonard, was a slender little girl of nineteen or twenty, 
and her modesty was quite noticeable when she sang 
in the burlesques on reigning comic opera successes at 
Tony Pastor's in East Fourteenth Street. She got her 
first part in the opera "Billee Taylor," which was bur- 
lesqued by Mr. Pastor. The score of "Billee Taylor" 
was written by Teddy Solomon, who was destined to be- 
come the fair Lillian's second husband. Her first hus- 
band was Harry Braham, who led the orchestra for Ed- 
ward E. Rice's "Pinafore" company, in the chorus of 
which she sang when she first came to New York from 
Chicago to study for grand opera under the late Dr. 
Damrosch. She took the small part in "Pinafore" for 
the sake of the stage experience, and her engagement 
lasted only two months. 

of auusic anD tfje Drama 219 

One night during the early part of the run of "Billee 
Taylor" the writer met Col. John A. McCaull on his way 
to Pastor's, where he said he was going to look over a 
"prima donna find" and it was that very night that 
Lillian Russell's career received its first real impetus. 
McCaull was then manager of the Bijou Theatre on 
Broadway where, with John Howson, Selma Delaro and 
others, he had given New Yorkers their first hearing of 
Audran's "La Mascotte" and "Olivette;" he was then 
rehearsing a new opera by Audran, "Le Grand Mogul," 
which was here called "The Snake Charmer." It was in 
the title role of this opera that the airy-fairy Lillian made 
her Broadway debut, and truly did she score, for, al- 
though exceedingly raw as an actress, her fine voice, ex- 
treme youth and great beauty made her triumph positive 
and permanent. Miss Russell, from this time on, has 
experienced many successes which have been chronicled 
again and again ; there seems to be no good reason to re- 
view them at this time. 

Polly Schmidgall, better known as Pauline Hall, was a 
Cincinnati girl who had her theatrical start as a chorus 
girl with Alice Oates, the first of all the English comic 
opera stars to have her own company. Those who recall 
this company and its stars will not regret a reminder of 
its existence. Before coming to New York, Pauline Hall 
had appeared as a dancer in the ballet at Robinson's 
Opera House, Cincinnati, under the management of Col. 
R. E. J. Miles, and when he sent "America's Racing 
Association and Hippodrome" on the road, Miss Hall 
appeared as Mazeppa in the street parade and drove a 
team in the chariot races. Miss Hall's extreme beauty 
of face and figure, however, were too pronounced for her 
to remain long in the chorus, and Julius Cahn, the same 
who is now so prominent in New England theatricals, 
procured for Polly, an engagement in the company man- 

220 JFottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

aged by Col. Miles at the Bijou Theatre, presenting 
"Orpheus and Eurydice" in which she assumed the role 
of Venus; Broadway immediately began to sit up and 
take notice,. Cahn, like Miles and Miss Hall, was from 
Cincinnati, which city, it seems, has produced more than 
its share of successful managers and stars. 

"Cheap" opera has been the avenue through which 
many of to-day's celebrities succeeded in achieving per- 
manent fame. Delia Fox got her experience and first 
start in the Bennet & Moulton, 10, 20 and soc. company, 
although her first appearance on the stage was as the 
Midshipmate in a juvenile "Pinafore" company in St. 
Louis when she was but seven years old. Raymond 
Hitchcock also got his first real start with the Bennet & 
Moulton company. Hitchcock had been an employee in 
a shoe store in Auburn, N. Y. His first theatrical ven- 
ture was not successful and he obtained employment in 
Wanamaker's Philadelphia store and remained there a 
year. William T. Carleton next engaged him at sixteen 
dollars a week to sing in the chorus of "The Brigand;" 
when the comedian of the company, Charles A. Bigelow, 
was taken ill in Montreal, Hitchcock took his role at a 
few hours' notice, and was successful in it. 

When Col. Savage first started the Castle Square 
Opera Company, a stock opera company, appearing per- 
manently in the theatre after which it was named, Hitch* 
cock was engaged for an extended term and here he ac- 
cumulated a repertoire of more than fifty operas. 

At length Mr. Savage decided that Hitchcock was 
worthy of stellar honors, and then followed the career 
with which all are familiar. 

A few months ago, the comedian chose to break away 
from his old time employer and went on tour in "The 
Merry Go Round;" the wisdom of this separation be- 
tween manager and star is greatly to be questioned. 

of figustc anD t&e Drama 221 

Joseph W. Herbert, twenty-five years ago, was a come- 
dian in a Chicago Church Choir Co., and got his first 
chance through the illness of the comedian then playing 
Lorenzo. He has ever since been playing leading com- 
edy, and has developed real talent as an author and a 
writer of lyrics. Herbert fell in love with a pretty sou- 
brette in the opera company playing in the Chicago 
Museum and he married her as soon as he got a perma- 
nent position in the same company. The lady in ques- 
tion was Nannie Lascelles, and a son of this marriage is 
now following in his father's footsteps with almost equal 
rapidity. Nannie Lascelles is now the wife of B. C. For- 
rester, a manager well known in the field of melodrama. 

Miss Sadie Martinet had no ordinary career. Origin- 
ally Sally Eagan, she was educated in the public schools 
of this city, and her mother, a working woman, made all 
sorts of sacrifices in order to send her pretty daughter 
to a convent school but, at the age of sixteen, while still 
a pupil, she sought and obtained a theatrical engage- 
ment. This was in 1876, and at that time "Josh" Hart 
was the owner and the manager of the Eagle Theatre 
(now the Manhattan) and Sadie Martinet got an en- 
gagement as an extra girl at the then prevailing salary 
of six dollars a week. But not long did the talented little 
Irish- American girl remain a silent actress; the follow- 
ing season Mile. Marie Aimee, the French opera bouffe 
star, played at the Eagle Theatre one of her memorable 
engagements, and Sadie got a position in the chorus. 
She had learned French while at the convent and had 
no difficulty in mastering the words. Aimee, almost at 
the outset of her career, had made a sensational hit by 
her rendition in English of Billy Emerson's song and 
dance, "Pretty As a Picture," and Sadie Martinet, who 
watched the Parisian star keenly, finally evolved an imi- 
tation of her in this song, and went to Boston to play a 

222 jfortg gears 2D&0ertmtion 

two weeks' run for Doctor Lothrop at the Boylston Mu- 
seum. Her success was tremendous and important, and 
she was at once overwhelmed with offers. John Stetson, 
however, engaged her for his Howard Athenaeum Com- 
pany for a tour, and she appeared as principal girl, with 
Ada Richmond as principal boy in the burlesque "Chow 
Chow," and continued to give her imitations of Aimee. 

The famous Boston Museum, which the Bostonians 
regarded as their foremost historic institution was then 
managed by R. M. Field, who at all times maintained 
a first class stock company. Field was quick to see the 
value of Sadie Martinet as an addition to his forces and 
he engaged her for a number of years as ingenue, and it 
was there that she made her memorable hit as Lady 
Angela in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience." It was at 
the Boston Museum, too, that Miss Martinet met and 
married her first husband, Fred. Stinson. 

Nat C. Goodwin, Jr., was first prominently known as 
a mimic, the very best, too, that the writer has ever had 
the good fortune to see. Goodwin's salary, even in those 
days, was as high as $350 a week, and no better card ever 
graced the vaudeville circuit. Goodwin married Eliza 
Weathersby, the burlesque queen whom Lydia Thomp- 
son brought over from England. Goodwin and his wife 
organized the Eliza Weathersby's "Froliques," and pre- 
sented "Hobbies," a farce-comedy by Ben Woolf, of Bos- 
ton ; in it the greatest hit was made by Miss Weathersby's 
sister Jenny, who, as the Fairy, set the country wild with 
laughter. Jenny Weathersby is alive to-day and is often 
seen in revivals of "Erminie." 

Marie Wainwright was one of the seven Juliets who 
appeared at Booth's Theatre in May, 1877. Joseph 
Tooker, then manager for Jarrett & Palmer, conceived 
the idea of having seven amateur Juliets appear in dif- 
ferent scenes with the English actor, George Rignold, 

of 6u0ic ana tfie Drama 223 

but Marie Wainwright alone of the seven ever reached 
the dignity of a career. Miss Wainwright had been 
educated in Paris, where she had trained for the lyric 
stage, but had never appeared in public until she made 
her bow as a competitive Juliet. She was born in Phila- 
delphia and was a daughter of the late Commodore 
Wainwright, U. S. N., and a grand-daughter of Bishop 
Wainwright. Miss Wainwright, not long after her first 
appearance, married a Mr. Slaughter, but they were soon 
divorced and the actress was married to Louis James, 
with whom for many years she was a co-star. 

The recent engagement in vaudeville of Jeff De 
Angelis was not his first, for he and his sister, known as 
Jeff and May De Angelis, were a familiar team in the 
variety halls away back in 1873. The writer recalls see- 
ing them do a turn at the Highland House, a resort in 
the suburbs of Philadelphia. The fame of Jeff De 
Angelis, like that of Francis Wilson, rests, principally, 
on his New York opportunities, and it was through John 
A. McCaull, a man whose name is rarely heard nowadays, 
that they and many more stars attained celebrity. 

Colonel McCaull was a Baltimore man who came into 
the amusement field to help out his friend, James Barton, 
but he liked the business and became the leading comic 
opera manager of the country. Universal regret was felt 
at the time of his death. His friend, James Barton, by 
the way, is still living in Baltimore. His real name is 
James Barton Key, and he is a grand-nephew of Francis 
Scott Key, who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." 
Barton was at one time associated with the late D'Oyly 
Carte in the production of Gilbert & Sullivan operas at 
the Savoy Theatre, London, and, later, in this country. 
William H. Crane began his career as a tenor in the 
old-time Holman Opera Company, a Canadian organiza- 
tion headed by Sallie Holman, who, despite her great 

224 JFottg gears HDtoettmtfon 

irregularity, was, perhaps, the very best exponent of the 
light opera prima donna the world has ever known. But 
the Holman company was virtually a barn-storming 
troupe and never reached the dignity of playing in New 
York City. Crane was a mere boy when he was appren- 
ticed to Mrs. Holman to learn the trade of an actor, and 
he remained with the company for eight years, singing 
and dancing between the acts of little plays, singing in 
operettas; doing the hardest kind of work and getting 
the best kind of training. When he left the Holmans it 
was to become the low comedian of the Alice Oates com- 
pany. Others in the Holman troupe were William 
Davidge, Jr., Charles Drew and John Chatterton, known 
afterwards as Signer Perugini. 

James T. Powers was of a variety team that had vogue 
in the late yo's, and his first conspicuous entrance was 
in Willie Edouin's production of "Sparks." Powers' 
career has been entirely associated, since then, with farce 
comedies. I believe that his absolutely first appearance 
was when he did a lively song and dance in a variety 
hall at Long Branch about '78, or '79. He once appeared 
in Huber's Museum on East i/jth Street and where many 
other celebrities of to-day have been seen. His greatest 
successes have been "The New Boy" and in the role of 
Snaggs in "A Bunch of Keys." 

Amelia Summerville was long before the public ere she 
scored her Broadway hit as the Merry Mountain Maid 
in "Adonis," but until she reduced her avoirdupois she 
was not always suited to the roles in which she wished 
to appear. In recent years she has scored many notable 
successes in important productions and in vaudeville is 
ever a shining light in a monologue that is as unique as 
it is clever. 

Valerie Bergere was in vaudeville a long time before 
she got $500 a week, and I doubt if she will be angry 

of 8u$ic and t&e Drama 225 

when I tell you that she and Esther Moore, a daughter 
of Charles T. Ellis, as Bergere and Moore, gave a trav- 
esty in the Union Square Theatre long before the 
legitimate actor had his day in vaudeville. 

Ezra Kendall was first conspicuous in the company 
headed by William A. Mestayer and Theresa Vaughn, 
presenting "We, Us & Co.," and his success was so posi- 
tive that he wrote a comedy entitled "A Pair of Kids," 
to fit his own queer personality, which served him until 
he was tempted into vaudeville. Kendall, when he did go 
into vaudeville, showed a remarkable aptitude for that 
field. He was one of the few legitimate stars who ever 
did make good in vaudeville. 

George Evans, "The Honey Boy," was a ballad singer 
with Haverly's Minstrels in 1892. He opened at the 
Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, as a singing comedian, 
December, 1894, when he sang "I'll Be True To My 
Honey Boy." He has had two starring tours, presenting 
"In the Good Old Summertime" and "The Runaways." 
For the last fifteen years Evans has made vast strides in 
vaudeville, his salary increasing by leaps and bounds until 
to-day $1,000 a week is gladly bid for his services. 

In 1864 Luke Schoolcraft first trod the boards and 
in that year Gus Williams wrote the first German dialect 
song, "Kaiser, Don't You Want To Buy a Dog." This 
song brought the late J. K. (Joe) Emmet into promi- 

Edward Harrigan was a ship calker in San Francisco 
and made his first appearance with Sam Rickey. He met 
Tony Hart, then known as the "Boy Emerson," in Chi- 
cago in 1867. It was Cool Herbert who brought them 
to New York and they opened at the Globe Theatre on 
lower Broadway, opposite Waverly Place. 

Charles K. Harris, the song writer, was a banjo player 
at resorts in Milwaukee in the 6o's, and Will J. Davis 

226 jfottp gears? 2D&0ertmtton 

(now one of the big factors in the Theatrical Syndicate) 
was first employed in the Adelphi Theatre in Chicago, 
then managed by Leonard Grover. 

It was Grover, too, who first gave New York grand 
opera in German and he it was, also, who gave good 
vaudeville bills in the Go's, in Tammany Hall. 

The Rialto in the 6o's was at Broadway and Houston 
Street. Then it moved up to Amity and Mercer Streets 
and finally, about 1870, to Union Square where it re- 
mained for fifteen years or more. 

John Stetson went into varieties in 1869, succeeding 
Josh Hart as manager of the Howard Athenaeum in 
Boston. Henry E. Abbey had a jewelry store in Akron, 
Ohio, before he entered the theatrical arena. Al Hayman 
was in the employ of M. B. Leavitt at the Bush Street 
Theatre in San Francisco. Leavitt was the first to estab- 
lish a chain of theatres to the coast. Brooks, Dickson 
and Hickey were the next in the endeavor to systematize 
the booking system of the country, but were ahead of the 
times, and success did not crown their efforts. Joseph 
Brooks survived his initial defeat and to-day is one of 
the wealthiest and most successful providers for the 

Miss Henrietta Crosman made her meteoric success in 
1900, at the Bijou Theatre in New York, with a produc- 
tion of a Nell Gywn play entitled "Mistress Nell." This 
play had previously scored a hit in London and came to 
New York on October gth. Both the play and Miss 
Crosman scored a tremendous success, and during that 
year Miss Crosman was moved to three New York 
theatres, the Bijou, the Savoy and Wallack's. The fol- 
lowing year it played at the Belasco. However, Miss 
Crosman was not unknown when she made her first big 
hit as a star; she had not played in New York in some 
time and had been forgotten. She was at Daly's and the 

of Sti0ic anD t&e Drama 227 

Lyceum, playing principal parts before she became a 
leading woman for Charles Frohman, and with Mr. 
Frohman she played all the leading comedy roles. Her 
most notable success was Gloriana and in "Mr. Wilkin- 
son's Widows." Miss Crosman's other notable triumphs 
have been a run of one hundred nights as Rosalind in 
"As You Like It" at the Belasco Theatre. For two 
years Miss Crosman appeared under the joint manage- 
ment of Maurice Campbell and David Belasco in "Sweet 
Kitty Bellairs," playing a season, half that time at the 
Belasco Theatre. In 1908 Miss Crosman produced a 
version of "The Pilgrim's Progress." This scored an 
artistic success but a financial failure, and was with- 
drawn. Her present vehicle is a comedy called "Sham" 
by Geraldine Bonner, and was first produced at the 
Columbia Theatre, in Washington, on February i5th. 
For a very few weeks during 1908 Miss Crosman ap- 
peared in vaudeville. 

Laura Burt, a Welsh woman, now appearing in the 
vaudeville theatres, is undoubtedly as versatile an artist 
as ever trod the boards. I have witnessed with interest 
her performance of Topsy in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and 
in "Fantasma," which the Hanlons presented, she was 
indeed an imposing figure. Miss Burt has surely trav- 
ersed the entire field of the stage. In comic opera her 
superb contralto voice was a delight to the ear. In 
vaudeville, when she presented a single turn, she gave a 
"stump speech" that was as artistic a delineation of char- 
acter as one could possibly conceive of. Recently Miss 
Burt and her husband, Mr. Henry Stanford, have starred 
together in "The Walls of Jericho," "Dorothy Vernon of 
Haddon Hall," everywhere leaving a profound impres- 
sion. Mr. Stanford at this time is appearing at the Ly- 
ceum Theatre with Miss Eleanor Robson, while Miss 

228 jfortg gears 2D60ettjation 

Burt is presenting a playlet in the best vaudeville the- 
atres, with positive acclaim. 

Annie Russell scored her first great triumph in 
"Esmerelda" at the Madison Square Theatre, but it was 
in "Sweet Lavender" that her stellar fame began. This 
play was presented at the Lyceum Theatre when that 
playhouse was on Fourth Avenue. Miss Russell is the 
wife of Oswald Yorke, who came to America with E. S. 
Willard in 1896, and her brother was Tommy Russell, 
the original and justly famous Little Lord Fauntleroy. 
He created a furore in the role, but retired from the stage 
almost as soon as he had become unsuited to the childish 
character. In 1904 he sought to return to the stage, in 
vaudeville, but the vehicle, a playlet, did not serve him 

"Bonita," who scored so great a sensation on the 
opening night, at the Circle Theatre in 1907, of "Wine, 
Women and Song," began in the varieties and worked 
her way up gradually. She was doing a "turn" with 
pickannies at Proctor's 2$d Street Theatre in 1898, and 
even then she was a feature. "Bonita" is a sister of 
Artie Hall who, a decade ago, was far more prominent 
than her younger sister. The success of "Wine, Women 
and Song" was not so unexpected as some would think. 
The production had been breaking records for some time 
at the box office before it came to the Circle Theatre for 
a single week, and remained over a year. Alexander 
Carr, who was undoubtedly the great factor of this long 
run, had long before been "watched" by managerial 
competitors. His mimicry of David Warfield and his 
own sterling individual playing having been widely dis- 
cussed on the Rialto when his salary was one-tenth of 
what it is to-day. 

An old time vaudeville act that is worth recalling was 
the original "Bards of Tara," Kelly and Ryan, and no 







A group of artists whose careers have been long and honorable. 

of 6@iisic anD tfte Drama 229 

comedy turn that is to-day exploited in modern vaude- 
ville could excel this noted duo. The Kelly of this firm 
was none other than the John T. Kelly who is to-day 
creating a plethora of merriment in the theatres con- 
ducted by the Vaudeville "Syndicate;" the Ryan of the 
"Hod Carrier" sketch is the same Thomas J. Ryan who 
is at this time a member of the sketch duo Ryan and 

Weber and Fields have come to their present status 
by right of absolute conquest. No careers have been 
more profitable, none more honorable, and the reign of dia- 
lect comedy in American theatricals to-day is greatly due 
to the influence of these two artists, who, because of what 
they have accomplished, should occupy an important 
place in Theatrical History. The early period of their 
career was upon the same general lines which Sam Ber- 
nard passed through. The Bowery was the scene of their 
progress. Weber and Fields managed their own touring 
companies many years before they came into the Broad- 
way Music Hall, now Joe Weber's Theatre. This house 
had been built by George J. Krauss and Harry Miner; 
called the Imperial Music Hall. It met with but indif- 
ferent success until Weber and Fields presented a 
burlesque on "The Geisha," called the "Geezer," revolu- 
tionizing Broadway's style of entertainment ; and the era 
of the dialect comedian was inaugurated. It should be 
stated that much of the success which came to Weber 
and Fields was undoubtedly due to the ability which Mr. 
Field's brother-in-law, Leo C. Teller, displayed in the 
business management and his capital really started 
Weber and Fields' Music Hall. That this is true is 
further evidenced by the fact that when Mr. Teller left 
Weber and Fields, the first symptoms of trouble began 
to appear. Teller himself secured the Broadway Theatre 
in Brooklyn, which establishment has to-day the repu- 

230 Jfottp gears fl)60ertmtton 

tation of being the best suburban theatre in America, 
both as to the business it does and its liberal manage- 

Much has been written concerning the future of the 
negro in business, politics, and the social walks of life, 
but nothing has been said regarding his future on the 
stage where, it seems, he is rapidly establishing a place 
for himself against even greater odds than those which 
interfere with his progress in other fields of endeavor. 

As a rule the negro's talents as an entertainer are pure- 
ly of the mimetic order. He is a great imitator, but a 
poor originator. Messrs. Cole and Johnson, however, I 
find the opposite. Their musical act is nothing if not 
refined, and distinctly intellectual. Their compositions 
of Southern melodies are invested with a spirit of in- 
tellectuality that give them quite a different atmosphere 
from that usually found in songs of this character. 

The success of these young colored men, aside from 
their talents, is due to the fact that they educated them- 
selves in every branch of learning in order to succeed, 
and at the same time worked hard; the combination of 
brains and energy is invincible. From writing tuneful 
songs, Cole and Johnson turned their attention to musical 
comedies, several of their scores being used by Messrs. 
Klaw and Erlanger, while numbers of the foremost 
musical comedy stars have used their songs, including 
Misses Lillian Russell, Marie Cahill, Fay Templeton, 
Elsie Janis, May Irwin, Anna Held, Mabelle Gilman and 
a score of others. They are now successfully starring in 
their own plays, under the management of Stair-Nicolai 
and Wilbur. 

What is said of Cole and Johnson can be also main- 
tained for Williams and Walker, a duo of comedians who 
have been elevating the status of their race as players, 

of 90u0ic ana tfte Drama 231 

as men, and particularly as composers; their musical 
compositions entitle them to consideration, and the 
amount of pleasure that has been derived from the en- 
trancing melodies that have come from their facile pen 
would alone justify the recital here of their achievements. 
However, suffice to state that these sons of Africa are 
born comedians, and that their influence has been large 
in matters of musical moment. To-day, they are heard in 
an artistic operetta, under the direction of Mr. Ray Corn- 
stock who has found in the material supplied by them, 
and in their individual efforts as comedians, a source of 
revenue not easily duplicated by any of the other attrac- 
tions in which he is interested. 

Antonio (Tony) Pastor, the Dean of Vaudeville, and 
the most notable figure in more ways than one that the 
stage can claim, was born March 2 8th, 1831 ; upon his 
demise in 1908, he was seventy-seven years of age. What 
a career was his! Inasmuch as throughout this volume 
this noble and benevolent man is accorded various en- 
comiums, and because his recent death has given place 
to biographical sketches in abundance, it remains only 
to be here stated that he might have been spared to us a 
few years longer, but for the encroachment upon his 
limited territory by the march of progress, and the lack 
of syndicate sentiment. At most he only sought to con- 
duct his little bandbox where many a performer denied 
by the Trust was wont to play four and even six engage- 
ments a year. What will become of these strollers that 
"Tony" never failed to provide for? No old timer who 
had outlived his usefulness on the stage ever appealed to 
"the grand old Man of Vaudeville" in vain. It was his 
policy to arrange the bills so that a few of these could 
be accommodated in the hours when the "Chasers" or 
"supper turns" would appear. What greater tribute can 

232 jFottp gears 2D60erbation 

be paid to Tony Pastor than the recording of this, one of 
the many fine traits in his noble character? Where shall 
we look for another like him? 

Mr. Pastor was raised in Greenwich Street in this city, 
and he made his stage debut at Barnum's Museum in 
1845. He began his managerial career in March, 1865, on 
the Bowery. In 1877 he married the present Mrs. Pastor, 
now living in the beautiful house at Elmhurst, L. I., 
where the aged manager spent his last days. 

of 9@u0tc anD tfte Drama 233 


"Bob" Hilliard was born on the 28th day of May, 1857, 
in New York City, and after reaching his majority became 
conspicuous in the social life of the metropolis. 

His inclinations, from the outset, however, ran in the 
direction of the stage, having its first practical demon- 
stration in fashionable amateur theatricals in the Brook- 
lyn district where he was ever a shining light. 

His business career was closely identified with Wall 
Street, and only a few years ago Bob thought he had tired 
of the footlight flare, and accepted a large yearly salary 
from the firm of Boody, McClellan and Co., of the New 
York Stock Exchange, for whom he conducted their up- 
town offices in the Waldorf district; he did not remain 
long away from the field in which he has had so much 
success, one year only. Hilliard made his debut on the 
stage in his own theatre, "The Criterion," in Brooklyn, 
on January 18, 1886, built by him for the purpose of ac- 
commodating the vast number of amateur associations 
with which the "City of Churches" has always abounded. 
The Criterion Theatre was a very pretty bijou bandbox, 
its seating capacity being about seven hundred. 

The house was opened in October, 1885, with Lester 
Wallack and his company in "Rosedale." 

Wesley Sission, Hilliard's manager, was afterwards his 
partner. The night of January 18, 1886, as before stated, 
was the occasion of the popular society man's professional 
debut, an event that attracted extraordinary interest on 

234 Jfortp gears 2Db0ettoation 

both sides of the East River. Milliard made his entree 
in "False Shame." He was accorded much praise from 
press and public and thus was inaugurated an active and 
interesting career. 

The theatre is now called "Keeney's." Its path for 
many years was a far from smooth one; it changed 
managers quite as often as did "The Morgue" (Princess 
Theatre) in New York. 

"Bob" Hilliard was the first to present a serious sketch 
or playlet in the vaudevilles. This happened more than 
ten years ago. His first salary in vaudeville was $600 a 
week. It has never been less, and at no time in the last 
decade has he been necessarily without bookings. 

"The Littlest Girl," dramatized by Hilliard, served as 
his vehicle for several years; in more recent years, his 
productions have been on a larger scale. He has also 
branched out as a producer of playlets, in which others 
appear, and this is indeed a great gain for the vaudeville 
stage, for much of the fame and fortune which has come 
to Robert Hilliard is due to his almost superlative artistic 
temperament which is displayed not only in his own per- 
formance, but in the care and attention to the smallest 
details which have always characterized the representa- 
tions with which his name has been identified. 

Hilliard has recently made the greatest success of his 
career in "A Fool There Was" at the Liberty Theatre. 

The writer was alone in inducing Hilliard to forego his 
legitimate career and enter seriously upon a campaign 
of education in vaudeville, and if much space is here given 
to the subject, it is due to the sterling and permanent 
value that has come to the vaudeville stage from this one 
player's efforts. 

Max Figman, now starring in the charming comedy, 
"The Substitute," has become one of the most accom- 
plished, popular and prosperous stars on the American 

of 99u0ic anD tfie Drama 235 

stage and has a clientele, particularly through the South 
and West, where they regard him as the foremost 
comedian of the present day. Mr. Figman started. his life 
in newspaper work, but the fascination of the stage 
proved too strong and circumstances have proven that it 
is his calling. He began at the foot of the ladder and has 
made rapid progress to the topmost rung. While comedy 
is his forte, versatility is his distinguishing virtue. His 
name has been linked with a great many metropolitan 
successes and is familiar to the theatre-goers of New 
York, Boston and Chicago. Among the stars with whom 
he has been closely associated are Mrs. Fiske, for whom 
he was stage director and producer, Henry Miller, and 
others. He was also a prominent member of the Charles 
Frohman, A. M. Palmer and Augustin Daly stock com- 
panies during the hey-day of their popularity. During 
the latter years he has been making important money 
starring in "The Man on the Box," "The Marriage of 
Kitty" and "The Substitute." 

Henry B. Harris was born in St. Louis, December i, 
1866. In 1879 he moved to Boston and completed his 
education at the Boston High School. He began his 
theatrical career at the Howard Athenaeum in that city 
as a program boy. A little later on he embarked on a 
commercial career, but returned again to the profession 
as treasurer of the Columbia Theatre, Boston. After three 
years at this house he became business manager of this 
theatre. His first theatrical venture was as half owner 
in the tour of May Irwin, which netted him a large 
amount of money. He then became identified with 
several of the Frohman, Rich & Harris enterprises, 
acting in that capacity for Lily Langtry, and Peter F. 
Daily in "The Good Mr. Best," and "The Country Sport." 
In 1901 he became an independent manager, his first 
attraction being "Soldiers of Fortune" with Robert 

236 JFortp gears SDftsertmtion 

Edeson as the star. In 1903 he became the lessee and 
manager of the Hudson Theatre, one of the finest play- 
houses in the world. In 1905 he produced "The Lion and 
the Mouse," Charles Klein's play, which made him an 
independent fortune. The same year saw him launching 
Rose Stahl in James Forbes comedy, "The Chorus 
Lady," which immediately sprang into the fore-front of 
the season's successes. Mr. Harris is at present pre- 
senting three companies of "The Lion and the Mouse," 
two companies of "The Traveling Salesman," three com- 
panies of "The Third Degree," Rose Stahl in "The 
Chorus Lady," Robert Edeson in "The Call of the 
North," and is preparing to produce "On The Eve," a 
sociological drama by Dr. Leopold Kampf, "The Nebras- 
kan" for Edmund Breese, "Such A Little Queen," by 
Channing Pollock, "The Barbarians," by Edgar Selwyn 
and Thomas Mallard, a new play for Dorothy Donnelly, 
and several other productions that will see the light of 
day this coming season. Mr. Harris is also the owner of 
the Hackett Theatre, and actively interested in large 
enterprises outside of the theatrical profession. 

Thirty years ago the Irwin Sisters Flo and May 
were undoubtedly the best sister team then appearing 
on the vaudeville stage. For several years they headed 
one or the other of the Tony Pastor Touring Variety 
Companies, and commanded the largest salary ever paid 
like artists. 

From the outset it was clearly apparent that May's 
strength lay in comedy. When Augustin Daly moved 
uptown to the Thirtieth Street house, he engaged her 
as a permanent member of his "model company ;" and to 
his thorough training, no doubt, our jolly comedienne 
owes no small share of the success so justly hers. 

Flo Irwin, since the dissolution of the popular team, 

of figttsic anO tfie Drama 237 

has starred in musical comedy under the management 
of Rich and Harris. 

To-day each sister is presenting a playlet; and each 
seems to have encountered a twin contretemps in the 
shape of some little legal agitation, concerning the own- 
ership of their respective sketches. 

Bertha and Ida Foy, another sister team, were also 
in their zenith five and thirty years ago. Ida was a won- 
derfully clever soubrette and her widespread popularity 
only ceased with her retirement in 1880; Bertha assumed 
dramatic roles and appeared until a comparatively recent 

Back in the 6o's, when 514 Broadway was still called 
the Theatre Comique and long before it passed into the 
hands of Harrigan and Hart, the Lingards were in vogue. 

William Horace Lingard was unquestionably the 
greatest protean actor that the last half century has pro- 
duced. With his wife, Alice Dunning Lingard, he pre- 
sented a sketch, the type of those which are to-day best 
exemplified by Ross and Fenton. 

From 1865 to 1885 the chief Ethiopian entertainers in 
variety and minstrelsy were Luke Schoolcraft, J. W. 
McAndrews (The Watermelon Man), Eph. Horn, 
Billy Barry, who afterwards joined Hugh Fay, Billy Em- 
mett, and Nelse Seymour; the latter was a brother of 
Harry S. Sanderson, for forty years Tony Pastor's 
treasurer. Seymour was a great practical joker and his 
tall, lanky form was wont to preside over many of the 
functions held at the Arcadian Club, the Lambs of those 

Irving Hall, on the site of the present German Theatre 
on Irving Place, was, from 1868 to 1875, New York's 
leading concert hall. Here Lafayette Harrison, long 
since passed away, gave a series of Sunday "pops," such 

238 JFottp gears 2D&$ertoation 

as Herman Klein has endeavored to popularize at the 
new Deutches Theatre to-day. Harrison had been an 
impresario of note; the Pyne-Harrison Opera Company 
had preceded even those organizations headed by Caro- 
line Richings and Parepa Rosa. 

Concerts were exceedingly popular forty years ago. 
For many years, Theodore Thomas, with his superb 
orchestra, gave promenade concerts at the Central Park 
Garden, sgth Street and 7th Avenue; and there is 
nothing in the Greater New York of to-day, which can 
compare with the general excellence that characterized 
this enterprise. The programmes of a decidedly popular 
order, the moderate prices (twenty-five and fifty cents), 
and a system of "package" tickets at reduced rates, 
greatly increased the interest in this laudable under- 

When Thomas moved to the first Madison Square 
Garden these concerts were stopped. It was then that 
Thomas began to broaden his efforts and to offer 
classical programmes to the public. 

Throughout the 70*5, Helen Dauvray "Little Nell" 
achieved great popularity in the West on the Pacific 
Coast. Her plays were similar in scope to those pre- 
sented by Lotta and Maggie Mitchell. She retired from 
the stage but returned, after a full decade, when she 
starred in Bronson Howard's "One of the Girls." This 
play was meted out a large measure of success, and ran 
for over a hundred nights. 

Miss Dauvray's appearances, during the last fifteen 
years, have been intermittent; and yet, in the beginning 
of her career, possibly no artist of the last half century 
gave greater promise for a brilliant future than this 
"California Diamond." 

F. F. Proctor began as an acrobat; he was one of the 
Levantine Brothers, famous in the late Go's and early 






Favorites of Long Ago Whom the 1 


f Progress Has Not Replaced. 

of 90u0tc anD tfte Drama 239 

70*8. As Frederick F. Levantine, Proctor was saving 
and ambitious. He began his managerial era at the 
Gayety Theatre in Albany. Here for many years he 
gave vaudeville and burlesque, always desirous of re- 
fining the entertainment then given. He married Polly 
Daly a serio-comic singer who was popular twenty 
years ago. From this marriage issued two daughters 
and one son. One of these daughters at New Rochelle, 
in amateur operatic representations, disclosed the fact 
that had she so desired an operatic career might have 
been hers. The son, Frederic F. Jr., has had an excellent 
schooling, with a view to some day succeeding his 
father. Though the writer has not had opportunity to 
observe his recent efforts, it can be stated that the young 
Mr. Proctor, barring accident, will cut an important 
figure in the new era of vaudeville, which will have some- 
thing more serious as its foundation than the conserva- 
tion of five per cent of the artists' salaries. 

Edyth Wynne Mathison, now appearing in Margaret 
Anglin's role in "The Great Divide," came to this coun- 
try but a few years ago and created a furore at the 
outset by her wholly artistic rendition in "Every Man," 
the morality play which Ben Greet used to first intro- 
duce himself and his artistic methods to American 

La Loie Fuller was famous as an actress long before 
she ever thought of her chorographic creations. As 
plain Loie Fuller she has spanned nearly the entire 
English-speaking world, and even in the Latin countries 
where it is recalled she was ever observed as of dis- 
tinctly artistic mould. The Serpentine Dance was first 
presented at the Casino, between the acts of "L'Oncle 
Celestin," after which at the Madison Square Theatre 
in Charles Hoyt's "A Trip to Chinatown," when the 
foundation for her long career she has since h$d was 

240 JFortp gears 2D&sertmticm 

securely established. It was not until Loie Fuller went 
to Paris that her real vogue began. Parisians saw some- 
thing more than the diaphanous twirl in the graceful 
woman they called "La Loie." It was her grace, her 
remarkable figure, her unity of musical rhythm with the 
poetry of dance motion that brought Parisians to her 
feet. Americans never could see in "La Loie" even the 
merits that were credited to her imitators. How disloyal 
are we in this respect, and how selfish. Miss Fuller's 
visits to America grow less frequent as the years go by 
but there is no diminution in her Parisian vogue. 

Ida Fuller is not a sister of Loie, but her sister-in-law. 
She married Frank Fuller, an electrician, who was 
closely identified with Loie's first success. It is only 
fair to Ida to explain that her greatest achievement, the 
basic foundation of the success which she has so 
struggled for, the fire dance, is her own creation as more 
than one important interest in theatricals has discovered 
by decisions in courts of equity which give to Ida Fuller, 
for all time, undisputable protection to her patents and 

If there was necessity to chide the American public 
for disloyalty to its own, what shall be said of the 
managers, for there seems to be an utter absence of 
reverence among them? Sentiment is absolutely con- 
spicuous by its absence. Such thoughts are suggested 
by vivid facts. As recently as a month ago the writer 
happened to visit a vaudeville theatre in Yonkers where, 
by the way, uncommonly good programmes are presented, 
and was amazed to find the famous German dialect 
comedian, Gus Williams, holding the stage for nearly 
thirty minutes. Gus Williams has been a performer for 
forty-five years, and for nearly half a century he has pre- 
sented virtually the same type of monologue. No career 
has been more honorable, and never has he been so 

of Q9u0ic an& tfie Drama 241 

prolific as now; yet he seems to be relegated to cities of 
the Yonkers sort, although, like Edward Harrigan, when 
he is privileged to face a metropolitan assemblage, the 
welcome tendered him is as prolonged as it is cordial. 

Charles Dillingham, as has been the case with so many 
others who have since become influential in the theat- 
rical field, was a dramatic critic before he embraced the 
business department of Charles Frohman's enterprises. 
He was conspicuous for a time on the Evening Sun, and 
the column to which he contributed was always looked 
forward to with much interest.. Dillingham displayed 
remarkable ability as an advance representative. His 
ingenuity with the pen brought about the first stampede 
of newspaper men into the theatrical business. To-day 
one finds these graduates from the editorial chamber 
everywhere in evidence. This, however, is as it should 
be, and there is nothing surprising in the ultimate sur- 
vival of the men of letters in a profession which holds out 
so much in common to them. Recently Mr. Dillingham 
was requested to make an observation of the business 
phase of the Metropolitan Opera House. 

Stephen Fiske, now and for many years back, the 
dramatic critic of the "Sports of the Times," is one of the 
oldest in service. He is of the class of journalist man- 
agers which has survived for over half a century. Fiske 
was Augustin Daly's first acting manager, and at the 
5th Avenue Theatre he was the leading spirit in all the 
various innovations which Daly was wont to practice. 
Afterward he became the actual manager of this same 
theatre, and some of that establishment's most note- 
worthy history was recorded during the Fiske consul- 
ship. He first presented Mme. Modjeska and Mary An- 
derson, established "The Dramatic Mirror" and founded 
the Actors' Fund. 

Robert E. Graham now appearing with much success 

242 Jfortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

in "The. Merry Widow," has been a player in continuous 
activity for nearly forty years, during which period he 
has traversed the entire gamut of the stage. He has 
starred so often, and his vehicles for the purpose have 
been so varied that a complete record of them would 
entail much exertion. It was as a German dialect 
comedian that he was wont to shine at his best. For a 
long period he was Minnie Palmer's most valued aid in 
her starring tours with "My Sweetheart." He was also 
principal comedian with Alice Gates and Samuel Colville, 
and was a member of the famous "Bostonians" at one 
time. His greatest success was achieved in "The Little 
Tycoon," an operetta by Willard Spenser which came 
into being as a result of the tremendous success of "H. 
M. S. Pinafore," and which also achieved the remark- 
able run of more than five hundred performances in 
Philadelphia. Its author, who also managed the majority 
of its tours, netted a good sized fortune thereby. 

The late E. G. Gilmore, in his quiet, unassuming way, 
had a particularly successful career, though he at no 
time displayed any desire to become a producer. His 
success was due more to careful methods and ingenious- 
ness in his investments. He was the last of the 
managers to rule over the destinies of Niblo's Garden, 
and it was under his direction there, that the Brothers 
Kiralfy made many of their noteworthy spectacular pro- 
ductions. Gilmore also managed the Madison Square 
Garden, and it was during this tenancy, in 1876, that 
Jacques Offenbach came there for his disastrous season 
as a conductor of his own compositions. In conjunction 
with Eugene Tompkins, Gilmore leased the Academy of 
Music and from the extraordinary profits of one attrac- 
tion "The Old Homestead" they were enabled to pur- 
chase the entire property at a modest figure. Mr. 
Gilmore's death a few months ago was greatly regretted 

of 9@ii0tc ana t&e Drama 243 

in other circles as well as those of the stage. He was one 
of the faithful members of the select coterie who were 
wont to hie themselves to the famed amen corner in the 
5th Avenue Hotel. Here was indeed Gilmore's stamp- 
ing ground and he was rarely absent from any of the 
functions with which that historic edifice was associated. 
Gilmore's wealth at the time of his demise was variously 
estimated, but that it was totaled in seven figures there 
can be no doubt. 

Douglass Fairbanks having dabbled in amateur work 
in the one year that he was at college, determined to 
become a professional. He made the acquaintance of all 
the famous stars who visited his home city, Denver, and 
entertained some of them at his home, drawing from 
them a promise that when he entered professional life 
they would help him. 

His first engagement (1900) was with Frederick 
Warde, the tragedian, then playing a number of Shake- 
spearian plays, and Fairbanks was cast for small parts, 
and acted as assistant stage manager. Before his en- 
gagement with Warde terminated he was advanced to 
leading juvenile roles. Later he secured an engagement 
with Herbert Kelcey and Effie Shannon to play the juve- 
nile lover in "Her Lord and Master," which ran three 
months at the Manhattan Theatre. This part gave him 
a footing in New York. In his second week in this pro- 
duction he settled to appear in "The Rose of Plymouth- 
town" with Minnie Dupree. 

This play failed after four weeks and Fairbanks joined 
Alice Fisher in "Mrs. Jack" at Wallack's Theatre and 
played seventeen weeks with this company. 

He then determined to leave the stage, and went into 
Wall Street with DeCoppet & Doremus, brokers, study- 
ing law at night ; after several months of this he returned 
to the stage in "The Pit," with Wilton Lackaye. 

244 Jfottp gears 2D60ettoation 

He appeared in "Fantana," the comic opera, playing 
one year in New York, and then went into a production 
called "Frenzied Finance," in which he was featured. 

At this time Fairbanks signed a five years contract 
with Wm. A. Brady, with starring clause, playing 
around New York in "As Ye Sow," "Clothes," and "The 
Man of the Hour." 

The last mentioned ran a year and three months in 
New York. 

After this came "All For a Girl," in which he starred. 
This play was a failure and he was transferred to "A 
Gentleman from Mississippi," as co-star with Thos. A. 

The Eden Musee was the scene of more than one 
artist's triumph. Here the voluptuous Otero danced her 
way into the hearts of her auditors ; for many months she 
was the one potent attraction that was able to pack the 
theatorium to its capacity. Otero has often returned to 
us, but has never duplicated the extraordinary success 
that was hers at the Twenty-third Street establishment. 

Carmencita had been the rage at Koster and Bial's, 
but a few doors away, and if memory serves me right, 
the two were arrayed against each other, simultaneously, 
and the furore was prolonged, for both dancers always 
commanded great favor in this country. Although the 
type of toe dancing, made famous in the days of Mor- 
lachi, Bonfanti and De Rosa, gave way later to the 
style of skirt dance introduced here by Letty Lynd* and 
Sylvia Grey, whom the genial George Edwards brought 
out here with the London Gaiety Company; still our 
own Bessie Clayton was accorded vast approval, and it 
was she, more than any other terpsichorean artist of 
American birth, who kept alive the old school of toe 
dancing in America, though "La Belle Dazie," long be- 

of 9@u0tc anD tfte Drama 245 

fore she was known as "La Domino Rouge," was re- 
garded as the equal of any of the foreign importations. 

It must not be forgotten that in grand opera, too, we 
were often privileged to witness the consummate art of 
the beautiful Cavalazzi, who appeared here with the re- 
doubtable Col. Mapleson's operatic forces at the Acad- 
emy of Music. She became the wife of Charles Maple- 
son, and was perhaps the greatest exponent of the 
chorographic art that ever appeared here in connection 
with grand opera. 

E. L. Davenport, who was one of the greatest trage- 
dians of any time, occupies so important a position in 
stage history that it is not the province of the writer to 
dwell upon his career, save to state that his greatest role 
was that of Sir Giles Overreach, in "A New Way to Pay 
Old Debts." He was not as successful with his public 
as was Edwin Booth or Edwin Forrest, but no player 
ever attracted greater critical attention. He was the 
father of Fanny Davenport, also of Blanche, known as 
Bianca La Blache, and who sang in grand opera under 
Strakosch; also of Edgar L. Davenport, a player of dis- 
tinction, whose career has been long and varied and who 
is now appearing with John Drew in "Jack Straw" and 
Harry Davenport. 

Fanny Davenport was, of course, a Daly product. Mr. 
Daly undoubtedly brought out the great ability that 
might otherwise have lain dormant. After all, her great- 
est scope was in the Sardou plays rendered by her as 
manageress, producer and player. In the roles of Fedora, 
La Tosca and Gismonda, this American actress was 
often more than favorably compared with the divine 
Sarah herself, though as Cleopatra the accorded praise 
was more restricted. Much of the resultant triumph 
achieved by Fanny Davenport as Fedora was shared by 
Robert B. Mantell, who as Ispanoff made his first con- 

246 JFottp gears D&0ertmticm 

spicuous entrance before metropolitan audiences. What 
a superb performance was this "Fedora" as presented by 
these players ! Who that can recall the thrilling specta- 
cle of that third act will ever forget the experience? 

Fanny Davenport was twice married, first to Edwin H. 
Price. The divorce which gave the actress her liberty 
afforded anything but inspiring reading. It was then 
that Miss Davenport became the wife of Melbourne Mac- 
dowell, a ponderous, vigorous player, who had a tremen- 
dous following in the Dominion of Canada, where, for 
years, he had been the head of a model stock company. In 
the role of Scarpia in "La Tosca," Melbourne Macdowell 
was without an equal. His career, since his wife's death, 
has not been free from vicissitudes, though it is difficult 
to understand how an actor gifted with so many super- 
lative requirements, and for whom nature has done so 
much, can, in these years of progress, be relegated to the 
vaudeville stage, or to intermittent appearances in the 
legitimate field. 

Ada Rehan, like Richard Mansfield, Ellen Terry and 
others of equal fame, has received so much treatment in 
volumes of the stage, that no attempt is here made to 
perpetuate her artistic career. Of more interest, for the 
purposes of this issue, is the recollection that, as a child, 
she appeared at the famous Leland Opera House in Al- 
bany, under the distinguished management of John W. 
Albaugh, who passed away but a few days ago. It was 
here that Ada Rehan's future was laid out, or, rather, 
prophesied. Her name proper is O'Neill; she is a sister 
of Mrs. Oliver Doud Byron, and also of Arthur Rehan, 
who, two decades ago, was wont to present some of the 
Daly successes on tour. Ada Rehan scored her greatest 
triumph in London, when the late Mr. Daly ventured to 
the English metropolis for the first time, and there 
achieved an unexpected success, which, at the time, 

of 9iu0ic anD tfie Drama 247 

caused so much pride and enthusiasm, and which opened 
up the field of Great Britain to American players. It is 
to be noted that Ada Rehan has, up to this time, been 
one of the few players of distinction to resist the tempta- 
tions of the modern vaudeville stage, although as high 
as $3,000 a week has been persistently offered her. There 
is no record where she has ever, in a single instance, re- 
sponded. This is as it should be, for while, as is stated 
elsewhere, the day has long since passed when the vaude- 
ville stage can be regarded as injurious to any artist, 
nevertheless, in the case of Ada Rehan, as in that of 
Clara Morris, it would be a wholesome spectacle to recall 
her only as the greatest artistic figure of her time, which 
would undoubtedly be greatly lessened were she at 
this time to lend her name to some tabloid presentation 
which could hardly add to her illustrious record. Un- 
less the writer is misinformed, the financial inducement 
with which such an appearance would be accompanied 
can well be ignored by the greatest Rosalind of all time. 
Speaking of Ada Rehan and of the Daly regime, nat- 
urally directs the writer's thoughts to an actress whose 
artistic career was nipped in the bud by a marriage 
which, at the time, attracted international attention. 
Edith Kingdon is here referred to, and there can be no 
doubt that when George Jay Gould captured the heart 
of this winsome favorite of the 8o's, he deprived the 
stage of one of its most charming adornments ; and there 
can be no question but that, had she continued under Mr. 
Daly, she would have reached stellar heights in a very 
few years. Edith Kingdon was playing the leading part, 
Mary Hartley, in "Love and Money," at the Boston The- 
atre in 1884, when Daly first saw her and engaged her 
for his matchless stock company. She had been leading 
juvenile woman at the Boston Theatre two years before 

248 Jfott? gears fl>6rtratfon 

this. Marjorie Gwynne in "Love on Crutches" was her 
greatest hit at Daly's. 

Harry Sommers, who has been the manager of the 
Knickerbocker Theatre ever since it changed its name 
from Abbey's Theatre, has had a career so typical of 
the possibilities of industrious effort in theatricals, that 
it is recited here. He was born November 24, 1869. In 
1887, at Hooley's Theatre in Chicago, he became chief 
usher and assistant treasurer, a dual capacity com- 
mon enough in those days. Then he became "knight" 
of the box-office for J. M. Hill and Daniel Shelby, who 
managed the Columbia Theatre and Academy of Music, 
respectively; he also sold the first tickets for the Chi- 
cago Auditorium. Mr. Sommers, about ten years ago, 
started to organize a circuit of theatres on his own ac- 
count, and it is interesting to note that although he has 
no less than a dozen productive theatres under his man- 
agement, and which bring him large profits, nevertheless, 
he has never abandoned his position as manager for Mr. 
Hayman; and perhaps it is to this fact that much of his 
progress has been due. He controls two large and pros- 
perous theatres in South Bend, Ind., a great manufactur- 
ing community, also Power's Theatre, in Grand Rapids, 
and several others. 

Augustus Pitou, who now and throughout his stellar 
career has managed Chauncey Olcott's tours, is one of 
the oldest of the actor-managers in service. He was an 
actor long before he became a manager, and the writer 
first recalls him as the manager of an organization head- 
ed by W. H. Ommohundro ("Texas Jack"), which at the 
time (1879) was making a Canadian tour. 

Major John H. Burke, who for so long has been as- 
sociated with the Buffalo Bill enterprise, was with this 
attraction of Pitou's. He was then known as "Arizona 
John," a handsome figure he was in those days. It was 

of Q0u0ft anD t&e Drama 249 

in 1880 that Pitou succeeded Mrs. Morrison in the active 
management of the Grand Opera House in Toronto, and 
although O. B. Sheppard was in charge for two years 
before, it was under Pitou that the theatre began as a 
combination theatre. To his aggressive policy much of 
the success which later on came to combination theatres 
is due. Pitou afterwards became one of the most im- 
portant stage providers in this country. At all times in 
the last thirty years, he has had an Irish singing-come- 
dian under his wing; the first of these were Joseph 
Murphy and W. J. Scanlan, undoubtedly the greatest ex- 
ponent of this field of endeavor that ever lived. Scanlan's 
career was indeed romantic, and his ending sad. The 
story of this sweet singer and handsome actor would fill 
a volume and would not be very pleasant reading. His 
last days were spent in a madhouse. Pitou also brought 
out Andrew Mack, and for a brief period J. K. Murray, 
the baritone, was exploited as a possible successor to 
Scanlan; but it was Chauncey Olcott who succeeded 
Scanlan in the public's affections. To this day Pitou has 
been Olcott's tour de force. 

Pitou succeeded Poole and Donnelly in the manage- 
ment of the Grand Opera House in this city, and for 
many years he ably conducted that theatre, though the 
persistent raising of the rental was more than he could 
stand, and thus it was that John H. Springer, who, like 
Theodore Liebler, graduated from the show-printing 
field, assumed the management of the majestic marble 
pile on West Twenty-third Street, which he to-day di- 
rects with much success. 

It should not be omitted, in speaking of Pitou, that 
he was prolific in all the requirements of the theatre, be- 
ing actor, manager, producer and, last of all, playwright. 
"The Power of the Press," in which he collaborated with 
another writer, had lasting qualities, little hoped for at 

250 JTortp gears 2D&0crfcatfon 

the time of its initial appearance, which took place at the 
Fourteenth Street Theatre. Augustus, Jr., is following 
in his father's footsteps, in a generation wherein he will 
have much advantage over his parent whose greatest 
achievements were effected in a period when the theatre 
was not regarded as it is to-day. All honor, then, to the 
pioneers who roughed it in the 6o's and yo's! Few, in- 
deed, like Pitou remain. In the week that these pages 
are sent to the publishers, two of the few of this type 
that were still with us have answered the call of man's 
unconquerable foe.* 

A manager of the old school, but who was not an 
actor-manager, was C. J. Whitney, of Detroit. He was 
a great lover of music, and the musical and dramatic 
arts were patronized by him to the extent that his in- 
fluence permitted. That this was not insignificant is 
known by many who will read these pages. Mr. Whitney 
had large piano ware-rooms in Detroit; he also con- 
ducted the Whitney Opera House in that city for a period 
of nearly thirty years. Aided by his sons, Frederick and 
B. C., he established a chain of first-class theatres which, 
after his death, were maintained and even expanded un- 
der the careful consulship of his youngest son, Bert. The 
eldest of the Whitney brothers, Frederick, was an im- 
portant factor in the light opera field during a period 
of fifteen years. He it was who produced "The Fencing 
Master," "Rob Roy," "Shamus O'Brien," and he also 
prevailed upon Madame Schuman-Heink to enter the 
field of English comic opera in an excellent work by 

*Eugene Tompkins died February 21, 1909. A widow survives 

John W. Albaugh died February 14, 1909. His son, John W., 
Jr., and two daughters, Mrs. Mitchell, of Long Branch, N. J., 
and Mrs. Frank Henderson, of Jersey City, N. J., survive him. 

of artistic mtn tfte Drama 251 

Julian Edwards, entitled "The Lottery of Love." Fred. 
Whitney also produced "Quo Vadis." 

Luisa Tetrazzini, as well as her sister Eva, now the 
wife of Signor Clefonte Campanini, had lengthy careers 
in their native land. It was not, however, until the great 
coloratura singer reached San Francisco, less than five 
years ago, that her real career began, that is if we are 
to figure upon a basis of dollars and cents ; but it should 
not be surprising that an artist like the youngest of the 
sisters Tetrazzini would find her vogue in such a gen- 
eration as this one has been. All great achievements 
have had, in this generation, their developing era as well 
as their resultant reward. At this period it has become 
possible for an artist like Luisa Tetrazzini to see her 
honorarium rise two thousand per cent. Tetrazzini sang 
in San Francisco, at the Tivoli, a music hall which has 
gradually advanced its scale of artistic environment un- 
til it became virtually an opera house, at least its con- 
duct was on lines which govern provincial opera houses 
in Europe and the Latin countries; but when this mar- 
velous singer was heard there by the writer, the Tivoli 
was not far removed from a beer garden, and the price 
of admission was an average of fifty cents, although some 
seats were higher. The amount which the present Man- 
hattan Opera House favorite received has been variously 
quoted, but at the very outset it was not even one-tenth 
as much as she now receives, but the furore she created 
was such that, inasmuch as her engagement in San 
Francisco was a prolonged one, she remained long 
enough to receive as high as $350 a performance. Then 
came London, and the rest is not for me to record, since 
this artist is now a central figure with press and public. 
Henry Rosenberg, now retired, is a brother-in-law of 
Oscar Hammerstein, he having married the impresario's 
sister, and he also was Oscar's most important aid dur- 

252 Jfottp 

ing the many years of struggle which characterized the 

early efforts of the wonder impresario. Several years 

ago, a quarrel arose between these two, the nature of 

which, even if the writer knew the facts, is not of pub- 

lic interest. However, Rosenberg showed, at the Me- 

tropolis Theatre, in the Bronx, that he, too, had mana- 

gerial ability, for he succeeded in making a comfortable 

fortune in the theatre named, and then was sensible 

enough to retain his profits for all time by retiring from 

the theatrical business, having disposed of the theatre 

to Hurtig and Seamon. During Rosenberg's personal 

management of the Metropolis some remarkable results 

were achieved, and the spectacle of a suburban theatre 

playing to $8,000 gross weekly was not' uncommon. A 

son, Walter, entered the amusement field in connection 

with his father's enterprises, and he is making his pres- 

ence felt, too. The indications are that he will provide 

some history for another generation. He possesses the 

requisites which go to make successful careers in the field 

of the theatre. At this time Walter Rosenberg has sev- 

eral theatres in small but growing cities like Mount 

Vernon, N. Y., where the population is rapidly increas- 

ing and which will, in a few years, be a sort of Harlem. 

He also has the Casino at Asbury Park, where, also, large 

future possibilities are foreshadowed. 

An amusing anecdote is told of Patti, in connection 
with the large sum she was paid. J. H. Haverly, the 
famous minstrel manager, at one time was ambitious to 
become an impresario. He was encouraged in this by 
Mrs. Haverly, who one day said to him: 

"John, why don't you go after Patti?" 

"I will," said the minstrel king, and he at once sought 
an interview with the diva, and, incidentally, he asked 
her what terms she would accept. 

"For opera or for concert?" queried Adelina. 

of 9@u0fc anD t&e Drama 253 

"For concert," said Haverly. 

"Four thousand dollars a night; $200,000 for fifty con- 
certs," answered Patti. 

For once, the indefatigable Haverly was nonplussed. 
"Why, Madame, that is four times as much as we pay 
the President of the United States for a full year!" he 

"Well, then," said Patti, "why don't you get the Presi- 
dent to sing for you?" 

Jacques Offenbach, the father of opera bouffe, the com- 
poser of "La Grande Duchesse," and fifty other popular 
operas, came to America during the centennial year, 1876. 
Receiving $1,000 a night, Offenbach conducted an 
orchestra of 100 men at what is now called Madison 
Square Garden; the public, however, expected that Of- 
fenbach would dance the "Can-Can," when he conducted 
his entrancing compositions. But he did nothing so sur- 
prising or unconventional, and his series of concerts were 
a financial failure, after which he went over to Philadel- 
phia, where the exposition was then in progress, and then 
returned to France. 

The salaries of conductors of renown have greatly in- 
creased until, to-day, a few of the most eminent and best 
qualified are paid as much as a great prima donna of 
olden times. Hans Richter receives an average income 
in excess of $1,000 a week, and it is to be doubted wheth- 
er Signer Campanini gets less from Mr. Hammerstein, 
Whereas, in the strenuous opera seasons of Strakosch, 
Maretzek, Mapleson and the elder Grau $100 a week 
was the limit which a conductor like Herr Behrens would 

Opera-goers of 1908 will probably be amazed to learn 
that in 1875, and up to 1879, in the Stadt Theatre on the 
Bowery, on the site of the present Windsor Theatre, were 
heard some of the greatest singers and artists that this 

254 JFortp gears 

country ever welcomed; and here it was not uncommon 
for the great Wachtel to sing his high C in "II Trova- 
tore" to a $5,000 house. For several years German 
opera was here given with a galaxy of the world's great- 
est artists such as Carl Formes, Pauline Canisa, Theo- 
dore Hableman, Frederick Himmer, Mme. Frederici 
Himmer, Gustav Weinlich, and others whom many an 
opera-goer of to-day will delight in recalling. The 
repertoire then was far more dignified than that which 
the public of to-day seems to have created for itself, for 
in a single season at the Stadt Theatre was heard "Der 
Freischutz," "Fidelio," "Wm. Tell," "Robert der Teufel," 
"Norma," "L'Africaine," "Postilion de Longemeau," 
"Trovatore," "Marta," "La Dame Blanche," and "Crown 
Diamonds." It is seriously to be doubted if any of these 
works as given to-day, at prices of admission more than 
double those then prevailing, would be found superior, 
except, perhaps, that of the tendency to crowd more 
stars into one cast now as compared with then, and it 
is much to be questioned whether an important artist, 
cast into a minor role, is likely to be as consistent or as 
artistic as is the minor artist in the role for which he is 
suited and intended. 

Next to Nilsson and Lucca, the most sensational suc- 
cess that had been achieved by a noted soprano was that 
scored by Etelka Gerster, who came to America almost 
unheralded, under the direction of the redoubtable Col. 
J. H. Mapleson, and she it was who first made his regime 
attractive and out of the ordinary. "Gerster" nights and 
"Gerster" matinees were sold out just as Melba nights 
are now. The only difference is that instead of $5 for 
a good seat, $3 was the most one was called upon to pay. 
The career of Gerster was not of long duration. Alas! 
like Patti, she came once too often. The recollection of 
her last appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House, 

of Qgusic anO tfte Drama 255 

in concert, is one of the saddest that the writer can con- 
jure up. 

Giovanni Tagliapietra was perhaps just as popular 
thirty years ago as Renaud is to-day. "Tag," as he was 
and is to-day called by his thousands of friends, was the 
ideal Rigoletto, and in the days when Christine Nilsson 
and the Adelina Patti of her youth were reigning favor- 
ites, this handsome baritone was indeed prominent. He 
married Margaret Townsend, daughter of the famous 
lawyer and a member of one of the oldest of New York 
families. Tagliapietra was a magnet not only in Grand 
Opera, but also in Concert when he appeared, together 
with other celebrities, in the days of the Strakosches. 
He was perhaps the handsomest and most dashing bari- 
tone that ever appeared in Grand Opera, and only his 
marriage and seeming indifference prevents his continued 
appearance at this time, when he is heard at intervals. 
He is the same "Tag" as of yore. 

Olive Logan* was what may be called a literary genius. 
The writers of her sex who to-day depict contemporane- 
ous events, have of course far more material to work 
with, but none can with all their advantages, arouse the 
interest of the readers of truth and fiction as she did 
thirty-five years ago. She wrote one particularly good 
play, "Surf," which was presented at Daly's Theatre 
when it adjoined the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and where it 
had a notable run. Celia Logan was, I believe, a younger 
sister of Olive and thirty years ago she was prolific in 
magazine work and a conspicuous figure in literary cir- 
cles. She did not, however, write for the stage to any 
extent, although intimate with many of its most promi- 
nent players. Celia was very deaf and I think lame. If 
it was she to whom the press referred recently as being 
in such dire distress, there should indeed be aid forth- 
* Olive Logan died in May, 1909. 

256 Jfottp gears flD&0ertmtiott 

coming from many quarters, for recollections of the Lo- 
gans cannot now be wholly obliterated ; a benefit is often 
given where it is less deserving. Speaking of benefits, 
the one for dear old Lester Wallack's widow a few days 
before these pages go to press, does vast credit to the 
thoughtful organizers. Daniel Frohman is never lacking 
in these glorious tributes, and how hard and sincerely he 
does work when he comes forward voluntarily ! It is he, 
too, who often agitates and creates the interest whereby 
so many deserving testimonials attain their final success- 
ful outcome. I have known Daniel Frohman, when actu- 
ally overwhelmed with the burdensome duties entailed 
by the additional responsibilities of a Kubelik concert 
tour as well as those which his regulation enterprises de- 
mand, to not only abandon all of these, but to actually 
pay out of his own pocket the compensation of his assist- 
ants, selected by him to direct the details of the Actors' 
Fund benefits. Lester Wallack himself was given a tes- 
timonial some twenty years ago at the Metropolitan 
Opera House at which the net receipts were in excess of 

Frederic de Belleville, now appearing with William 
Gillette in "Samson," is the possessor of a career so 
lengthy and varied that a small volume might well be 
devoted to it. In the days of Shook and Palmer, he was 
called upon to create many leading roles; he was con- 
spicuous as Clara Morris' leading support for many sea- 
sons. For near thirty years he has held his place at the 
very top and it is not recalled where a single season has 
not found him filling an important engagement. De 
Pelleville, for some unaccountable reason, has not sought 
stellar honors to a great extent. Very likely he is con- 
tent with the large honorarium and the distinguished 
position which he has always been able to command. 
It is known that he is very conservative and also of pro- 

e Arral 


Soprano -who created a furore in London in 1909. 

of S@u0ic anD tfte Drama 257 

nounced reliability. To-day, after three decades of con- 
tinuous activity, he looks as he did in the old Union 
Square Theatre, in the hey-day of Clara Morris' pros- 
perity. His Armand Duval in "Camille" was, in the 
writer's opinion, his most forcible role, though in Sar- 
dou's "Diplomacy" he was an accomplished member of 
the sterling cast with which Rose Coghlan once sur- 
rounded herself. He is active in all the charities con- 
nected with the theatre, being a life or charter member 
of the Actors' Fund, Actors' Society, Edwin Forrest 
Lodge, and Actors' Order of Friendship; he is also a 
member of all those clubs where players are welcome. 

Blanche Arral, who is engaged for the Metropolitan 
Opera House next season, and whose career justifies the 
prophecy that she will be a potent figure there, made 
her debut at the Opera Comique in Paris in 1890, under 
her family name Clara L'Ardenois. She, then, sang the 
title role in Ambroise Thomas' "Mignon," scoring an 
instantaneous success. Since her debut she has there 
sung Ophelia in "Hamlet," by the same composer, and 
Juliet in the Gounod opera. Madame Arral also achieved 
a triumph in "Manon," by Massenet. She is particu- 
larly identified with the old repertoire and it will be wel- 
come news to the readers of this volume to know that 
she is likely to be heard here in the much wanted opera 
comiques, such as "La dame Blanche," "Domino Noir," 
"Fra Diavolo," and "Le Pre aux Clercs," a delicious 
opera comique which Maurice Grau once gave at the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre with Paola Mariee and Victor Ca- 
poul, and which, when revived here, is likely to create 
a positive furore. 

Madame Arral has been at the head of her own operatic 
and concert organizations and recently had great vogue 
in Australia, where her esteemed impresario, M. Herold 
Basset, conducted a lengthy tour for her. 

258 Jfortp gears fl)&0ertmtion 

On the 25th of October, 1908, Madame Arral made her 
debut in the United States, in San Francisco, the city 
where the great Tetrazzini found her real worth, at the 
Van Ness Theatre. The newer singer created such a 
furore that it was open to question if she had not really 
overshadowed the triumph of the present Manhattan 
Opera House star. At any rate, the press of San Fran- 
cisco waxed so enthusiastic and the reports emanating 
from San Francisco were so sensational, that the present 
director of the Metropolitan Opera House entered into 
negotiations which have resulted in the contract for her 
appearance here in the near future. 

of 9@u0ic anD tfje Drama 259 


OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN. This name stands liter- 
ally emblazoned before the writer as he endeavors to 
unfold his recollections of the last forty years of music 
and the drama. Oscar Hammerstein ! Who, indeed, can 
be approached with greater timidity? And by whatever 
avenue he is approached, the one fear is an inability to do 
him justice. Forty years has developed no other person- 
age equally exalted in the field of artistic endeavor. 

Madame Nellie Melba recently gave him the appella- 
tion of Master-magician, and has prophesied that he will 
be the one impresario to give grand opera in English, in a 
manner equal to that impresario's efforts in the Latin 
languages. On the very day that these lines are penned 
this extraordinary man has announced that within one 
year he will begin to build another and greater opera 
house in this city, on the borders of Central Park West 
and 5Qth Street, and this means just exactly what is said, 
for who will venture to doubt when Oscar declares him- 

Oscar Hammerstein, from the day the writer first re- 
calls him, was an artist to his finger tips, always am- 
bitious and a lover of music in all forms. His early 
theatrical career was really handicapped by an unselfish 
desire to venture into the realms of Grand Opera when 
the tools and facilities for success were not within his 

The career of this marvellous artistic provider began in 

260 JFottp gears 2D60ertmtion 

pursuits that have no place in this issue ; therefore, with 
the opening of the beautiful theatre in Harlem, now 
occupied as a moving picture theatre and still called The 
Harlem Opera House, New Yorkers obtained their first 
introduction to the man and his methods. Even in this 
establishment his artistic taste was plentifully illustrated, 
and a long season of light opera under Herr Heinrich 
Conreid was accomplished at great financial loss. 

Then came another theatre at 12 5th Street and Fourth 
Avenue, called the Columbus Theatre, now occupied by 
the Keith and Proctor interests. Here vaudeville is now 
given, whereas, the more beautiful and majestic opera 
house, on the West side of the same street, seems destined 
to continue as a 10 cent theatre. 

Then followed the construction of the first magnificent 
Manhattan Opera House on West 34th Street, now gone 
to make room for Macy's vast dry goods house. Here 
the impresario made a herculean effort, far ahead of his 
time, to inaugurate just such a career as he has since 

Grand opera, well given, met with tremendous losses, 
and it was not until Albert Bial was called in to save the 
day, and the magnificent opera house turned into a veri- 
table Koster and Rial's that these losses began to cease. 
Under this regime came Chevalier, Yvette Guilbert, 
Otero, Loie Fuller, Dan Leno and other prominent for- 
eign stars, when a business of $15,000 a week was by no 
means uncommon. Following this came Oscar Hammer- 
stein's crowning glory (up to that time), The Olympia 
which inaugurated Long Acre Square and created the 
new theatre district. The Olympia was opened on the 
very day that Oscar Hammerstein had announced it 
would be dedicated, for that matter, all the Hammerstein 
establishments have always been inaugurated on the date 
their projector has prophesied. 

of 6u0ic ana tfje Drama 

Losses were sustained, from the very outset, in all three 
of the auditoriums then conducted, and one day, to be 
brief and also to evade a sad subject, the founder of all 
this walked outside of the majestic pile he had reared, 
dispossessed and as poor as the day he was born. This 
writer recalls the benefit which a few loyal friends ar- 
ranged for the dethroned manager at Madison Square 
Garden. This too was a failure, even resulted in a loss; 
on the Rialto, it was universally conceded that "Oscar 
was down and out." It would appear to be so; here 
was the crucial test in his remarkable career, and who 
could guess that he would rise phoenix-like at his time 
of life! 

When he "sneaked" the land on the corner of 426. 
Street and yth Avenue and evolved a Broadway Theatre 
for a 7th Avenue rental, he accomplished two extra- 
ordinary things at once; he made yth Avenue Broadway 
and he destined that 426. Street, west of yth Avenue, 
should be the new theatre district. 

He also built and owns to-day the Hackett Theatre and 
the Belasco Theatre, adjoining the Victoria, which was 
first called the Republic Theatre. 

The achievements of this genius, from this time forth, 
are so well known that it would be tedious to repeat 
them and it remains only to be said that no man is more 
loved by his employees, and no impresario that the last 
generation has brought forth has so mastered the alleged 
intricate and difficult mazes of operatic direction. Rarely 
if ever, is there an illness recorded at a Hammerstein 
representation and never a change of opera. 

Poor Henry E. Abbey went to his grave, prematurely, 
from the worries that Oscar Hammerstein thrives on, 
Maurice Grau and Heinrich Conried would to-day be in 
the director's chair of the Metropolitan Opera House, if 

262 JFottp gears fl)b0ertmtiott 

they could have had but a particle of the Hammerstein 

Who shall say what this wonder-worker has still in 
store for us? No greater or more momentous message 
can be handed down to posterity than the fast growing 
evidence which becomes stronger each day, that when 
(God forbid) this impresario brings his unexampled 
career to a close, his mantle will descend to his son Ar- 
thur. The writer has observed in the young architect- 
manager the very same qualities which have made his 
father the greatest musical and theatrical entrepreneur 
the world has ever known. 

William C. Carl, director of the Guilmant Organ 
School, organist and choirmaster of the Old First Presby- 
terian Church, New York City, pursued his studies under 
Alexander Guilmant, the distinguished French organist. 
Mr. Carl returned to New York City in 1902, and was at 
once engaged for the "Old First" Church. One hundred 
and twenty-nine free organ recitals have already been 
given there before audiences which have taxed the church 
to its full capacity. These recitals are known the country 
over; well known composers have written for them and 
many leading artists have appeared as soloists, vocal and 

Mr. Carl was the first concert organist to go to the 
Klondyke, where he inaugurated a new organ in Dawson 
City, Alaska; he has also been to Japan, China and the 
Philippines to study the music of these countries. 

Mr. Carl has appeared at all the large expositions of 
recent years, both here and abroad. 

The Guilmant Organ School, on 34 West i2th Street, 
New York, with Alexander Guilmant as president, was 
founded in 1899 by Mr. Carl, and easily holds its place 
as the foremost of our musical institutions. 

Mr. Carl is author of "Master Studies for the Organ," 

of Qgtisic anD tfte Drama 263 

"Thirty Postludes for the Organ," "Novelties for the 
Organ," Vols I and II, "Master-Pieces for the Organ;" 
also songs, organ pieces, and many articles on musical 
subjects. He is a director of the Manuscript Society, 
president of the Guilmant Club, director, founder and 
chairman of membership committee of the Guild of 
American Organists. 

Allen C. Hinckley, now at the Metropolitan Opera 
House, was born in Dorchester, Mass. After attending 
preparatory schools in Boston and Providence he entered 
Amherst College; upon the removal of his parents to 
Philadelphia, he entered the University of Pennsylvania, 
where he remained for two years. He was always a 
prominent member of the glee clubs of both colleges, and 
sang in church choirs, directing a choir and choral society. 
His first stage experience was for a year and a half with 
the Bostonians, singing the leading bass roles with that 
organization. He then went to Germany, and within a 
fortnight of his arrival in that country was engaged as 
principal basso at the Hamburg Opera, where he made his 
debut in February, 1903, in the role of the King in 
Lohengrin. He remained in Hamburg for five years, 
until his engagement with the Metropolitan. He has 
also sung in Covent Garden, London, under Hans 
Richter, and for two seasons in Bayreuth. 

Howard Pew, band manager, has made a life work of 
musical attractions, bands and orchestras. He was a 
reporter on the Chicago Times during the Wilbur F. 
Storey regime, and afterwards on the St. Paul Pioneer 
Press. Later, he owned a daily paper in Minneapolis and, 
afterwards, an interest in the Daily Herald. In 1885 he 
went to New York City, as press agent for the famous 
Gilmore's Band, and remained as business manager till 
Gilmore's death. Mr. Pew was associated with the tours 
of the Thomas Orchestra, the United States Marine Band, 

264: Jfortp gears 2D60ertmtion 

the Strauss Orchestra of Vienna and with Victor Her- 
bert's Band tours. He successfully managed a Chicago 
band and, in 1902, made a contract with the then unknown 
Creatore, whom he brought to New York, where he be- 
came the sensation of the season in a single night. Mr. 
Pew has managed Creatore since that time, and has be- 
come firmly established all over America as the foremost 
band manager. 

Caroline Richings was at the head of an English Grand 
Opera Company from 1867 until the time of her death, 
and no organization of this type, unless it be the Hoi- 
mans, ever encountered more vicissitudes. Madame 
Richings was hardly a great singer, but she was a superb 
artiste, and her appearances were always of vast interest. 
Among the members of her first company were her hus- 
band, Pierre Bernard and "Johnny" Chatterton, the 
Signor Perugini of later years. 

Perugini's career was replete with interesting data. It 
began like Wm. H. Crane's with the Holmans when they 
had a juvenile opera company. "Master Johnny," like 
Crane, too, was apprenticed to Mrs. Harriett Holman 
and, with the schooling he received at her hands, was 
enabled, later on, to become a member of Edwin Booth's 
company, appearing as Francois in "Richelieu;" he also 
appeared with Lucille Western in "The Flowers of the 
Forest" and supported such stars as Edwin Adams and 
Mrs. Lander, a tragedienne of distinction, who like Mrs. 
D. P. Bowers failed to become potent at the box office in 
the same manner that Charlotte Cushman did. Yet both 
of these players reached the most exalted heights, artis- 

Perugini, before his affliction, for he grew gradually 
deaf, became very prominent in Grand Opera and his 
Faust as sung with Adelina Patti as Marguerite at the 
Academy of Music was compared favorably with the best 

of 9@u0ic anD tfje Drama 265 

work of Campanini and Capoul in those years. Finally, 
when his voice was at its best, he became the leading 
tenor of the McCaull Opera Company, and for three years 
was the leading feature of that organization. About 
seven years ago, he was compelled to retire from the 
stage absolutely, for though his voice was unimpared, yet 
it was found impossible for him to hear his cues or even 
his orchestral accompaniment. As stated elsewhere 
Perugini was an excellent actor, a rarity among tenors, 
and the recital of the premature end of his artistic career 
is one of the saddest duties that this writer has to per- 
form. But let it be stated that, sad as it is, the fate of his 
brother Charles Chatterton is still more to be regretted, 
for John we still have with us, whereas poor "Charley" 
died in England at the early age of thirty-seven. Henry 
E. Abbey felt the loss of his trusted secretary deeply; it 
was Charles Chatterton who was always called upon to 
perform the many diplomatic and intricate duties, which 
would entail upon the secretary of that manager. 

One of the greatest casts ever bestowed upon a produc- 
tion of any nature, was that given to Offenbach's comic 
opera "Le Roi Garrotte" at Colonel James Fisk, Jr.'s 
Grand Opera House in New York, in 1872, which included 
Mrs. John Wood, John Brougham, Rose Hersee, Emma 
Howson, Stuart Robson and John Chatterton ; yet it was 
a failure, financially. The following year Stuart Robson 
made his first great metropolitan success at Brougham's 
Theatre in West 24th Street, on the site occupied until 
recently by the Madison Square Theatre. Robson 
achieved his triumph as Captain Crostree in "Black-Eyed 
Susan" which ran for many weeks and was perhaps the 
most delicious bit of true burlesque that has ever been 
witnessed on the American stage. Only a few weeks ago 
Edward E. Rice was making strenuous efforts to attract 
the attention of the magnates who to-day control the 

266 jFortp gears 2D60erbation 

destinies of modern vaudeville with a view to a revival 
of "Black-Eyed Susan." The idea, certainly, is excellent, 
and a production of this fifty-minute burlesque at this 
time would surely repay the effort. 

Burlesque was decidedly popular in the 70*8, for besides 
Lydia Thompson and her troupe of English comedians 
and Blondes we had the Worrell sisters whose efforts 
were confined principally to "Ixion," "The Field of the 
Cloth of Gold," and "The Forty Thieves." But it was 
Matt Morgan, the famous cartoonist and scenic artist, 
who made the most pretentious effort in this line. He 
leased the Lyceum Theatre on i4th Street and with the 
aid of Sydney Rosenfeld, endeavored to maintain a stock 
burlesque company of which Minnie Palmer then (thirty 
years ago ) considered the most beautiful girl on the stage 
was the head. But it was not until Morgan evolved his 
famous living tableaux that any degree of financial 
success was reached. 

Surely we have improved in our moral tastes for no- 
where is there to be found, to-day, such exhibitions of 
nudity as were then raved over. Morgan's living statuary, 
packed the playhouse from floor to ceiling, until, owing 
to a forced censorship, the presentation was moderated, 
and a system of draperies formulated which very quickly 
caused a decided falling off in the attendance, and soon 
afterwards, a withdrawal of the attraction altogether. 

Among the business men of the theatrical world, a 
quarter of a century ago, John H. Russell cut a wide 
swath. He became interested with W. A. Mestayer in the 
latter's musical comedy ventures and, in the early 8o's, 
organized the best company of comedians that has ever 
graced the stages of this country. 

"Russell's Comedians" was the title of this equipment 
and among those featured were Willie Collier, Charles 
Reed, and the dancer Amelia Glover, known as the "Little 

of Sgusfc anO tfie Drama 267 

Fawn" afterwards the wife of poor Russell, who ended his 
days a raving maniac at Bloomingdale Asylum. 

"Will" A. MacConnell was a popular figure in the 
amusement world, up to the time of his demise. He was 
one of three brothers who in 1859 were "devils" in the 
type setting department of the Detroit Tribune; Nick 
Norton, long a trusted employee of Messrs. Hyde & 
Behman was also a "devil" in the same establishment. 

The other two MacConnell brothers were Charles and 
Joseph. The latter died shortly after the close of the war, 
from a disease contracted in the Army. Charles is still 
alive and is enaged in the drug business. He was with 
"Jack" Haverly in the latter's halcyon days. William, 
alone of the three, reached prominence in the theatrical 
world, and he was unquestionably one of the most 
brilliant business managers of any period. While as a 
press representative he was perhaps unequalled, one of 
his most noted achievements was as the acting manager of 
Koster and Dial's on West 34th Street, and it was during 
his regime that this establishment played to gross receipts 
in excess of $15,000 a week, a sum total that was almost 
unbelievable at that time. 

The Violoncello has scarcely ever proved a popular 
instrument in America. None of the several truly great 
artists who played that decidedly most delicious of all 
string instruments were able to make prolonged concert 
tours such as was always possible with violinists and 
pianists. Of those that this country was favored by, 
Anton Hegner, Gerardy, Victor Herbert and Anton 
Heking are the easiest recalled. 

Hegner was born in Copenhagen and was brought 
hither by Walter Damrosch, who has been conversant 
with the European career of the Danish 'Cellist. Much 
was anticipated from his appearances and indeed, for a 
period, the marvelous playing of the Dane caused large 

268 JFortp gears 2D60ertoatfon 

audiences to gather at Carnegie Hall, whenever he was 
announced, but his vogue was of comparatively short 
duration. As a soloist in the concert organizations of a 
lyric star like Adelina Patti, Hegner not only shone to 
great advantage, but was really a magnet, attracting the 
public to a great extent, and commanding more critical 
encomiums than any of the other artists in the coterie 
which Patti's Company contained. Hegner, as a com- 
poser however, has prospered always and his various 
works for orchestra are widely circulated and performed 
whenever music is a factor. He is now writing a Grand 
Opera at the solicitation of a well-known Impresario. 

Victor Herbert also reached the highest pinnacle of his 
fame as a composer rather than as a virtuoso, though as 
a conductor he obtained wide renown, and to this day, is 
welcomed enthusiastically whenever his orchestra is 
heard. But it is as a composer of comic opera and of 
musical comedy that he is best known. Herbert's ca- 
pacity to turn out new works is well-nigh unlimited. He 
is often to be found in attendance at social gatherings 
and is a vital factor in the clubs, particularly "The 

Many a player and quite a multitude of singers have 
felt the substantial aid which this big hearted Irishman 
has never been known to refuse; none ever approached 
him in vain. He had a singular way of bestowing bene- 
factions without subjecting those helped to the embar- 
rassing necessity of expressing gratitude. He was born 
in Dublin, Ireland, in 1859, and is the son of a Dublin 
barrister and the grandson of the great poet-painter- 
novelist, Samuel Lover. 

A strange prophesy accompanied the boy's birth. An 
old gypsy fortune teller, who had received alms from his 
father's servant predicted that one day he would be a 
great composer and, after forty-nine years, this bids fair 

of SgJiigic anD tfie Drama 269 

to be fulfilled; he is, to-day, one of America's foremost 
writers of music, and in the zenith of his career. 

The boy's father died shortly after his birth, and his 
mother removed to her father's at Seven Oaks, a suburb 
of London. 

Samuel Lover's house was the rendezvous for the most 
celebrated literary, artistic and musical men, among the 
latter was the famous 'cellist, Piatti, whose wonderful 
playing so impressed young Herbert. 

Herbert was taken to Germany at a very early age, 
and entered in the gymnasium at Stuttgart. A school 
orchestra was formed and young Herbert was given the 
piccolo to play. 

The evening of the first concert arrived but, unfortu- 
nately, Herbert whose little solo was in the first piece, the 
overture from "The Daughter of the Regiment," was 
affected with stage fright. This was his first and last 
appearance as a piccolo soloist. 

Shortly after this he took up the 'cello and showed 
great natural ability, making such marvelous progress 
that he was at once the wonder and delight of his 
teachers. He went to Baden-Baden, where he studied 
for two years under Bernhardt Gossman. For the next 
four years Mr. Herbert, now a full-fledged 'cellist, played 
engagements with concert orchestras all over Germany, 
Italy and France, finally ending in Vienna as solo 'cellist 
in the famous Strauss orchestra. Leaving Vienna, he 
went on a concert tour through Germany and Switzerland 
as 'cellist. 

Returning to Stuttgart, he was offered a position in the 
Royal Court Orchestra which he accepted, as it gave him 
an opportunity to resume his studies in composition. 
Herbert soon completed his first large composition, a 
Suite for 'cello and orchestra, Op. 3, which is now played 
by all the leading 'cello soloists in the world. 

2To Jfortp gears 2D&0ertmticm 

During the Summer of 1886, Frank Damrosch went to 
Stuttgart in search of singers and musicians for the 
Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He was 
so impressed with both Mr. and Mrs. Herbert's work 
(Mrs. Herbert was the prima donna at the Royal 
Theatre) that he offered them an engagement, which 
they accepted, arriving in the United States in October 
of the same year. 

Mr. Herbert took his place in the orchestra of the late 
Anton Seidl and the latter, taking a great fancy to the 
genial Irishman, made him assistant conductor, in which 
position he remained for several years. He then joined 
Theodore Thomas in the same capacity. At the first 
symphony concert given by Anton Seidl at the old Stein- 
way Hall, Mr. Herbert's Suite for string orchestra was 
given a prominent place on the programme. 

In the Spring of 1894 Mr. Herbert met William Mac- 
Donald, the head of the famous Bostonians, and the 
composer found himself in touch with light opera of the 
best kind. 

MacDonald became very much interested in Herbert's 
work and induced him to write a light opera for the 
Bostonians. It was called "Prince Ananias," and was 
given its first production at the Broadway Theatre, New 
York City, November 20, 1894. Since then Mr. Herbert 
has established the wonderful record of writing twenty 
light operas without one failure. Among these are "The 
Serenade," "The Wizard of the Nile," "The Idol's Eye," 
"The Fortune Teller," "The Singing Girl," "The Ameer," 
"Cyrano de Bergerac," "The Viceroy," "It Happened in 
Nordland," "Babes in Toyland," "Babette," "Wonder- 
land," Mile. Modiste," "The Red Mill" and others. 

In 1896 Mr. Herbert was appointed bandmaster of the 
famous Twenty-second Regiment band, succeeding Pat- 
rick S. Gilmore. At the expiration of his term with this 

of 0@u0ic anfl tfje Drama 271 

orchestra he accepted the postition of conductor with the 
Pittsburg Orchestra. He toured the country with it until 
1904, when he returned to New York and organized his 
own orchestra. 

Mr. Herbert is perhaps the only composer who, al- 
though educated along ultra-classic lines, has the faculty 
and grace for works of the lighter sort, emphasized by 
remarkable power of invention and unquestionable 

Philadelphia, now having an opera house equal to any 
that exists in other large cities, is at this time the subject 
of much discussion in the press, and misgivings are ex- 
pressed as to the permanency of the Home for Grand 
Opera which Mr. Hammerstein has built there. The 
city of brotherly love has always held its own with other 
great musical centers, and many important experiments 
have been attempted there, with results not discreditable 
by any means. 

The man who has accomplished the most and who gave 
the best years of his active life to educate the Philadelphia 
public for Grand Opera is Gustav Hinrichs who, in 1876, 
managed the famous season of opera in San Francisco, 
when Theodore Wachtel and Carl Formes were the stars. 

Hinrichs came East in 1885 and was the conductor of 
the first American Opera Company, organized by Mrs. 
F. K. Thurber in 1885. When this truly ennobling enter- 
prise failed for want of public support, Hinrichs gathered 
together the remnants of the principals and, with a 
smaller chorus and orchestra, started, in 1888, at the 
Grand Opera House in the Quaker City on North Broad 
Street, a summer season at popular prices; for no less 
than nine consecutive seasons this venture was sustained, 
if not with great profit, at least without serious loss, and 
it is but fair, in view of the industry of this conductor- 
impresario to state that the following novelties were 

272 Jfottp gears 2D60ertiatfon 

actually first introduced to the American public, by this 
company, and as such the list is well worthy of record: 
"Cavaleria Rusticana," "Pagliacci," "L'Amico Fritz," 
"Manon Lescaut" and the "Pearlfishers." 

At the conclusion of his Philadelphia labors, Herr Hin- 
richs was gladly secured by both Maurice Grau and 
Heinrich Conreid as one of the conductors of the Metro- 
politan Opera House. 

Henry Clay Miner, generally known as Harry Miner, 
began at the very bottom and worked his way up to 
prominence and affluence, owing to his tireless energy 
and sound mentality. He was a graduate of the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons. 

I recall him first in 1866, as the advance agent of 
Slavianski's Russian Opera Company; he was also em- 
ployed by Jacob Grau previous to this date, in a business 
capacity. Miner foresaw the Bowery was to be a 
lucrative field for varieties, and he built every music hall 
that this thoroughfare has ever devoted to English vaude- 

When Harry Miner's Theatre was built, Thomas Don- 
aldson took charge of the London Theatre, before held by 
Miner, and remained there until 1895, when he was suc- 
ceeded by James H. Curtin who had been the assistant 
manager since 1889. E. A. Bull, the treasurer of the 
London Theatre to-day, has occupied that position since 
the house was built in 1876. 

Harry Miner's success on the Bowery was nothing 
short of phenomenal ; he was clever enough when he did 
become ambitious not to release his valuable Bowery 

He built the People's Theatre at 201 Bowery. It had 
previously been Tony Pastor's Bowery Home and here, 
too, for many years fortune favored Miner. The demand, 
created by Poole and Donnelly's great success, for com- 

of Sgju0tc and tfte Drama 273 

binations at popular prices led Miner to duplicate this 
policy, and he maintained it for many years. Finally the 
astute manager reached Broadway, having leased the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre which he successfully conducted 
for several years and with this connection he branched 
out in all phases of the theatrical business. He also estab- 
lished a large printing and lithographic house in his 
name, opened two large drug stores in New York and, at 
all periods, was the backer or manager of a large number 
of touring companies and stars, including Eleanora Duse, 
Mrs. J. B. Potter, Jas. A. Herne and the celebrated Pat 

Miner was twice married; his first wife being Julia 
Lucinda Moore, who bore him a large family. His sec- 
ond wife was Annie O'Neill, a beautiful and intelligent 
actress who retired from the stage as soon as she became 
Mrs. Miner. One child, a son, was born of this second 

Before his death Harry Miner became the Honorable 
H. C. Miner, having been elected to Congress from his 
own district on the East Side, in a reform year when he 
was the only Democratic member to be elected. 

On the Bowery he was "Harry" Miner, at the 5th 
Avenue Theatre he was Henry C. Miner, and at Wash- 
ington he was the Honorable H. C. Miner. At the time 
of his death, his fortune was estimated to be in excess of 
a million dollars. He left several sons, all of whom are 
to-day actively engaged in the perpetuation of the vast 
Miner holdings ; the position of the estate has always been 
regarded as impregnable, reflecting the care and conserva- 
tive policy of its builder. 

"Gus" Hill was born in New York City, February 18, 

Here is a man who has had sense enough not to grow 

274 Jfortp gears 2D&$erfcation 

too ambitious and who knows enough to follow up his 

Hill was a professional club swinger and was known as 
"King of the Clubs" for many years before he became 
a manager, which occurred when he felt he could make 
more money engaging himself than working for others. 
He organized a specialty company, then another, and then 
branched out into melodrama, musical comedy, and bur- 
lesque. Finally he became interested in theatres as well ; 
at one time his enterprises were numerous. 

Hill believed in printer's ink and, though a close fig- 
urer, was honesty personified in his business dealings. 
His fortune has been variously estimated from $150,000 
to $500,000. However that may be, he is certainly a rich 
man and one whose career is well worth the record its 
here receives. 

The most successful of Hill's various ventures was un- 
doubtedly the plays written around the character of 
"Happy Hooligan" and "Alphonse and Gaston," the 
former in one season yielding a profit of more than 

Ernest Goerlitz was born December 24th, 1864, at 
Berlin. He was graduated from a high school there 
(Luisen-Stadt, Realschule), and began his career as a 
sailor boy with the object of becoming an officer in the 
navy. While at sea, his father died and he was recalled ; 
the financial reverses in the family rendered his naval 
career impossible. 

He then entered a commercial career and acquired a 
most thorough commercial training, also a thorough 
knowledge of English and French. 

He came to America in 1887 and entered the employ of 
W. Dazian, the foremost costumer in New York, where 
he stayed five years. By recommendation of Mr. Dazian 
he joined the firm of Abbey, Schoeffel and Grau, in 1893, 

of 99u0ic and tfte Drama 275 

and remained with them until their assignment in 1896. 
He then became secretary and treasurer of the reorgan- 
ized concern which existed for one year under the title 
of Abbey, Schoeffel and Grau, Limited. When that com- 
pany was wound up and the Maurice Grau Opera Com- 
pany formed, Goerlitz became Secretary of the organi- 

When my brother's unfortunate illness compelled him 
to retire and the Conreid Metropolitan Opera Company 
was formed, Mr. Conreid engaged Goerlitz as his general 
manager. His contract as general manager for that or- 
ganization only expires in 1911, but, finding that the 
tremendous strain of work, especially during the last few 
years had begun to tell severely upon his constitution, he 
resigned his position early last season, to take effect at the 
end of that season. 

He has since entered into an agreement with the newly 
formed company by which he has the sole right to make 
all concert engagements for their artists. 

MAURICE GRAU was born in Brunn, Austria, in 
1846, and came to this country when but five years of age. 
He began his theatrical career as a libretto boy. His 
education was received at Columbia College, in the city 
of New York, and at an early age he began to assist his 
uncle, Jacob Grau, an impresario of note in the 6o's. 
Maurice earned a large salary, too, as an advance agent, 
before he reached his majority, but his managerial career 
began when he and Charles A. Chizzola scraped together 
about $2,500 and brought Marie Aimee and a French 
Opera Company to America. About this time Jacob 
Grau met with an accident in Vienna; he had a contract 
with Anton Rubinstein which had great value, and the 
nephew was given entire charge of the enterprise. Wm. 
Steinway, head of the great piano house, aided the youth- 

276 JFortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

ful impresario with $10,000, and the tour was, for those 
days, immensely propitious. 

The next year, Tomaso Salvini was brought over and, 
the same season, Maurice Grau, in partnership with C. 
D. Hess, brought out Clara Louise Kellogg at the head 
of an English grand opera company that for many years 
afterwards had great vogue; this was in 1874. In 1876, 
Centennial Year, Mr. Grau brought over Jacques Offen- 
bach for a series of thirty concerts at Madison Square 
Garden, then under the management of the late E. G. 
Gilmore. This was a failure, financially, and after a week 
in Philadelphia, Maurice conceived the brilliant idea of 
combining Offenbach and Aimee, and at Booth's Theatre 
"La Vie Parisienne" was revived with a scratch com- 
pany to receipts that up to that period had never been 
equalled. After this the achievements of the young im- 
presario multiplied. He leased the Lyceum Theatre on 
Fourteenth Street, now occupied by Mr. Rosenquest, the 
most historic playhouse still standing in this city, and 
here he presented, besides Aimee, Mrs. Rousby, the Eng- 
lish beauty; J. L. Toole, Adelaide Neillson, the most 
charming Juliet the stage has ever been adorned by; 
Adelaide Ristori, and Emily Soldene and her English 
Opera Bouffe Company, an organization which rivalled 
even the Lydia Thompson Troupe in the beauty of its 
female members.* 

Afterwards Mr. Grau brought to America Anna Judic, 
Louise Theo, Paola Marie, Mils. Angele, and also Victor 
Capoul, the erstwhile Grand Opera tenor. With this 
last trio he gave "La Fille de Mme. Angot" and other 
French operas with great success. It was during this 
period, in 1878-79, that Offenbach's "Contes d'Hoffmann" 
was first given in America, and it is here positively stated 

*C. D. Hess died early in February, 1909. 




Of Boston's New Opera House. 


Stars of Grand Opera and Bostons public-spirited citizen. 

of 8ti0ic ana tfte Drama 277 

that the work as then given was the very same as is now 
being so sumptuously rendered at Mr. Oscar Hammer- 
stein's palatial opera house. 

The career of Maurice Grau, after he joined hands with 
Henry E. Abbey, has been so often related and is so 
generally known that it is not desirous to continue the 
subject further than to state that, broken down by over- 
work, he retired from the great enterprise that he had 
constructed in 1903, having amassed a fortune very close 
to a half million dollars. He died at his home in Croissy, 
France, on March 14, 1907, at the age of fifty-eight. 

It may be said that he was the first grand opera im- 
presario that did not die penniless. Others lost money 
continuously, and he, when he at last had mastered the 
almost impossible, lost his health; after all his was the 
greater loss. A widow and one daughter survive him. 

In the last twenty-five years there have been two 
worthy and serious efforts to establish Grand Opera in 
the vernacular, and from a spectacular point of view and 
considering the number of artists engaged, both the 
Thurber and the Savage-Grau attempts were superior to 
those further back in which Parepa Rosa, C. D. Hess, 
Clara Louise Kellog and "Honest little Emma" Abbott 
figured extensively. 

Mrs. Thurber's desire to create a permanent field for 
Grand Opera in English was surely a most commendable 
one, and none can question the remarkable progress 
effected, or the seriousness of her purpose, as illustrated 
in the performances given at the Academy of Music and 
on tour. The other effort was that of Henry W. Savage 
with his forces amalgamated with those of Maurice Grau, 
who was only too glad to find a field of endeavor for the 
Metropolitan Opera House for the early Fall and late 

The company at the Metropolitan was surely the 

278 JFortp gears? 

largest and also the most distinguished of any this coun- 
try has ever listened to in Grand English Opera including 
among others, Zelie de Lussan, Fanchon Thompson, 
Ingeborg Ballstrom, Grace Golden, Louise Meislinger, 
Phoebe Strakosch, Lloyd D'aubigne, Homer Lind, Lem- 
priere Pringle, William Pruette, Joseph Sheehan, and oc- 
casionally augmented with an artist or two from the Grau 
Italian Opera forces. 

The company inaugurated its season on the isth of 
December, 1900, and some of the operas rendered were 
"Mignon," "Faust," "Tannhauser," "Lohengrin," "Trova- 
tore," "Romeo and Juliet," "The Mikado" and "Pinafore." 
One novelty was presented in giving Thomas' "Es- 
meralda," but no better illustration of the public desires, 
as far as English Grand Opera was concerned, at least at 
that period, can be offered than to mention the fact that 
by far the largest receipts of the English season were 
drawn by "Mikado" which ran two consecutive weeks 
(a theatrical achievement in itself) to audiences of a 
capacity nature. "Pinafore," produced immediately after- 
ward, was nearly as well received, and it should be stated 
that had it not been for the financial results accorded to 
the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, a far greater loss would 
have been sustained than the "insignificant" one pro- 
claimed by Messrs. Savage and Grau in reporting the 
results of the season at its close. 

The writer is not one of those who look forward to the 
forthcoming possibility of Grand English Opera in the 
two local opera houses with great hopes, in fact the fate 
of the efforts will depend on the decision of the leaders 
of fashion, and even if this is favorably obtained, the 
absence of the Latin and German public cannot be re- 
placed by audiences large enough to warrant a prophecy 
of permanency and success for English Opera upon a 
$5 basis. Any attempt to cast a distinction by a re- 

of Sit0ic attlr tfie Drama 279 

duction of the scale of prices would be ruinous and dis- 
pose of the entire undertaking instanter. The best field 
for English Opera would be in a separate opera house 
at special prices and in competition with the others. Here 
operas like "Maritana," "Bohemian Girl," "Lurline" and 
even the entire repertoire given at the two opera houses 
could be duplicated, but it is not hoped that the next 
twenty years will develop English Grand Opera as a 
financial success on a seat scale of the same rates which 
now prevails. 

True, one cannot tell what would happen if Caruso and 
Melba were to sing in the vernacular and also none can 
foretell what would be the result of "Cast juggling" with 
the idea of forcing a success for Grand Opera in English. 
Still, without the seal of fashion and an absence of all 
distinction in its presentation, it does not appear to be the 
easiest operatic problem that the next generation has to 

Henry W. Savage was born March 21, 1860. He began 
his theatrical career on May 5th, 1895, when force of 
circumstances, not necessary to be here named, caused 
him to become the head of an organization known as the 
Castle Square Opera Company, having its permanent 
home at the Castle Square Theatre in Boston. 

Mr. Savage, however, at first was only a manager in an 
incidental way, having other large interests in Boston. 
Very soon the operatic company under his control began 
to improve in all respects and, eventually, it became the 
representative organization, presenting grand, standard 
and comic operas in this country. This progress kept 
broadening until the Metropolitan Opera House, as else- 
where mentioned, became the scene of its activity; this 
was followed with notable productions of "Parsifal" and 
"Madame Butterfly," though it should also be stated that 
Mr. Savage was the first to present nearly every novelty 

280 JFortp gears 2D&0erfcatton 

in opera in Anglicized form, while several operas of great 
importance such as "La Boheme," he was the first to 
present in any language. 

Mr. Savage's achievements in comic opera and musical 
comedy were upon a multitudinous scale. Among the 
most successful should be named "King Dodo," "The 
Shogun," "The Yankee Consul," "Peggy from Paris," 
"Woodland," and finally "The Merry Widow" in which 
the successful impresario distanced all his competitors, 
and captured the rights of an opera which, despite much 
litigation has, undoubtedly brought him more profit than 
all his other enterprises combined. 

In the dramatic field, Mr. Savage has also been a con- 
siderable factor; no manager can lay claim to a smaller 
minority of failures than he. The three most conspicuous 
successes in the dramatic line were "The College 
Widow," "The County Chairman" and "The Devil." 

If English opera is ultimately to find permanent 
presentation in this country and the agitation which at 
present is prevailing is sincere, then it will be well indeed 
if the name of Henry W. Savage becomes identified with 
the effort; for here is a man who would not only bring 
to it requisite experience, but the capital and tenacity of 
purpose which, in grand opera impresarios, is so often 

Even thirty years ago the site of what is now Proctor's 
Theatre on West 2$d Street, was generally used as an 
auditorium and it was here that Salmi Morse, a man of 
much intellectual power and untiring energy, first at- 
tempted the famous Passion Play in New York City. 

The place had been used for all sorts of affairs ; Koster 
and Rial's was in the same block, a much gayer resort 
than New York possesses in this year of 1909. 

Great excitement had been created by Morse's an- 
nouncement. He had just come from San Francisco 

of S@it0ic anD tfie Drama 28i 

where he had succeeded in presenting his version of the 
sacred story. With him was associated the late H. J. 
Eaves, a well-known costumer of that period, whose son 
still is the source of supply for the majority of players 
who provide their own costumes. Eaves was selected 
because of a supposed resemblance to the accepted or 
rather the prevailing idea of the features of the Son of 
Man. Together with a band of players who had diligent- 
ly rehearsed for a long time, they succeeded in giving a 
public rehearsal of the sacred play; the advertised per- 
formances were never given and it is perhaps well that 
they were prohibited, for at no time has there been found 
a public sufficiently large to be attracted to the various 
similar efforts in other cities. In a financial sense no one 
has ever made any profit on the Passion Play. 

Morse, while he lived, never ceased his efforts, and at 
one period he succeeded in interesting the far seeing John 
Stetson sufficiently to be granted an interview. Stetson 
was not difficult to approach, none of the old time man- 
agers were, and it was possible to reach his heart too, 
even if he was brusque and supposedly illiterate. He was 
a brilliant man, with a dignified air that stood out 
strongly despite the fact that he in no way sought to 
appear as an imposing figure. He was inclined to try 
the Passion Play in Boston. He informed Morse that the 
production would have to be on a spectacular basis, even 
if only a single performance could be given, and the two 
began to figure on the cast and numbers required for an 
appropriate rendition. 

Morse became enthusiastic, as was his natural 
demeanor, and began to dwell on the strength of the 
scene where the Savior takes leave of his beloved disciples 
and breaks bread with them, saying that he would re- 
produce this scene faithfully. 

"I will have the twelve apostles costumed by Mr. 

Jfottg gears 

Eaves, in a manner that will be decidedly effective," said 


To which Stetson responded in that voice and with that 
vigor for which he was noted : 

"There you go again, trying to economize. Twelve 
Apostles? I thought you were going to be spectacular. 
We will have forty apostles at least." 

Pablo Sarasati, the renowned violinist, who died only 
a short time ago, came to this country with Eugene D. 
Albert in 1892 and the two proceeded on a lengthy con- 
cert tour under the direction of Abbey & Grau. These 
two artists while attracting much attention in America, 
were not as well received as their reputations and gifts 
entitled them to be. 

Sarasati loved the violin as he did his life and when in 
New York was disposed to roam about the violin ware- 
rooms of Victor Fletcher, testing the various old instru- 
ments which Fletcher was always possessed of. 

With the exception of Henri Wieniawski, Sarasati was 
considered the greatest virtuoso of the violin that New 
York had heard since Joachim. 

It will be interesting to note what will be the status of 
the two violinists now enrapturing New York audiences. 
It would seem that Mischa Elman and Albert Spalding, 
ten years hence, should be in the zenith of their powers ; 
both give every indication of achieving the greatest 
results. It is to be expected that the greatest living 
violinist, ten years from now, will be one of these two 
favorites of to-day. And the writer is inclined to predict 
the greater career, ultimately, for Spalding. 

Both have passed the era of the prodigy and there is no 
great difference between them, save that the foreigner is 
more raved over in this country. This is nothing novel ; 
we have always lionized the foreign visitor, whatever his 
artistic claim. 

of s^usic anu tfie Drama 233 

We should be thankful that we have reached the stage 
where several grand opera stars are permitted to pose as 
Americans. It was not always thus and it is indeed com- 
plimentary to Mesdames Eames, Nordica, Farrar, Abbott 
and others that they have been able to sustain their rank 
in the world's greatest opera house without being com- 
pelled to conceal the locale of their birth. 

Just twenty years ago Olga Nethersole made her debut 
on the English stage and in this instance it is to be re- 
corded that stellar honors were assumed almost at the 
outset. Miss Nethersole's achievements are familiar his- 
tory and perhaps the most interesting circumstance to be 
related here is the fact that just as soon as his health 
began to decline Maurice Grau, in a desire to reduce his 
labors, and to employ his efforts in a more congenial field 
than Grand Opera, entered into a long time agreement 
with Miss Nethersole. 

It was his intention to execute a well formulated plan 
for the purpose of placing this actress in the very highest 
rank and one of his cherished ideas was to revive "A 
Winter's Tale" and to make an elaborate production of 
"As You Like It," but this interesting project was never 
accomplished. When, in 1904, the impresario was or- 
dered abroad for a two years' rest, he regretfully and even 
bitterly arranged for a cancellation of his agreement with 
the English artiste, to whom this sad development was, 
as she herself expressed it, "One of the great disappoint- 
ments of my life." 

Miss Charlotte Walker, who is appearing with Frank 
Keenan as co-star in the Belasco-de Mille production, 
"The Warrens of Virginia," is a distinctive stage per- 
sonality in that she had no stage training or schooling, 
and embraced the profession through sheer necessity. 

Miss Walker is a Texan by birth and after the Gal- 
veston flood was compelled to seek a source for her 

284 JFottg gears 2D6$ertmtion 

maintenance. There was no precedent in her family upon 
which she could base an incentive for a career and she 
herself once observed : "J ust went on and did the best I 
could. I'd be a fine actress if I wasn't scared stiff all the 
time I am on the stage." Miss Walker is noted for a 
strong Southern accent which has caused her to be 
selected for many "before the war" parts. 

Miss Walker only a short time ago became the wife 
of Eugene Walter the playwright whose "Paid in Full" 
is now enjoying a lengthy run. 

Leo Ditrichstein was born in the town of Tenneswar 
in Hungary on January 6, 1866. He became a naturalized 
citizen of this country in 1904. Both as playwright and 
comedian his work has invariably met with great favor; 
some of the most substantial successes in farce comedy 
have come from his pen. 

As an actor, Ditrichstein has been noted for his force- 
fulness and the distinctly typical manner in which all of 
his stage creations are framed. Whether before a Broad- 
way audience in legitimate comedy or appearing in vaude- 
ville in a wild sketch called "Button, Button, Who's Got 
the Button" this player has never failed to embellish his 
work, with true artistic depth. No player that can be 
recalled has been more sincere in his efforts, and none 
have been more painstaking ; it has always been taken for 
granted that any role entrusted in his care, would receive 
a worthy interpretation. 

Milton Aborn appeared as comedian in comic opera 
some fifteen years ago. For a while he combined the 
duties of an actor-manager, the rock upon which many 
theatrical ships have been wrecked. He was one of the 
few men in the theatrical profession to realize that these 
two acting and management do not mix auspiciously. 
Consequently he decided that he must give up one or the 
other, and as management seemed the more remunera- 

of S@u0ic anD t&e Drama 235 

tive he gave up acting eight years ago. The younger 
brother, Sargent Aborn, started as a business manager 
and advance agent, and was for many years on the execu- 
tive staff of the late Jacob Litt, and later made a number 
of dramatic productions of his own. The first ventures 
of the Messrs. Aborn in partnership were opera com- 
panies on tour, and eight years ago they started the 
Spring and Summer series of operatic revivals that have 
since become annual features in a dozen of the larger 
cities of the East. During the first Summer there were 
but two of these, one at the Orpheum Theatre in Brook- 
lyn and one at the Madison Square Roof Garden. The 
second Summer, Washington, Baltimore and Philadel- 
phia were included in the circuit, making five companies, 
and the next year there were seven; the number has in- 
creased each year since then, until the firm of Milton and 
Sargent Aborn has come to be recognized as the most 
extensive producer of opera in America. Many artists 
who began in the chorus or in small parts with them have 
graduated to stardom, among whom are such favorites 
as Marie Dressier, Marguerite Clark, Elsie Janis and 
others. The crowning achievement of their career was 
the engagement of thirty-one weeks, to large and enthu- 
siastic audiences, by the Aborn English Grand Opera 
Company in New York last Winter, which created a sen- 
sation in musical and theatrical circles and established a 
record for grand opera in English. 

Morris Simmonds and Horace Wall established, more 
than thirty years ago, a dramatic agency on Union 
Square, on the very spot now used as a cafe in the Union 
Square Hotel. Simmonds was formerly associated with 
Col. T. Allston Brown, and these last two named main- 
tained the first dramatic agency worthy of the name. 
Simmonds alone had considerable theatrical experience 
back in the early 6o's. Horace Wall continued active 

286 JFortp gears ffl)&0ertmtion 

until his death, about ten years ago, and was the mana- 
ger of the New Haven Opera House for several years. 
He also managed many prominent stars, among whom 
the elder Sothern, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. J. Florence were 
the most noted. 

Few readers of this volume, perhaps, will recall Will- 
iam R. (Billy) Deutsch, yet he was one of the best- 
known and certainly one of the most popular men in New 
York from 1875 until the time of his demise in 1896. 
Deutsch was a first cousin of Maurice Grau and of the 
writer. His theatrical connections were invariably due 
to personal friendship or from a desire to be near to those 
for whom he felt a deep affection. He managed the 
Florences for several seasons, and John T. Raymond 
played his most successful tours under his direction. 
Deutsch also was the lessee of Booth's Theatre for a 
brief period, but, as has been stated, the theatrical busi- 
ness was merely an incidental excuse for him to be asso- 
ciated with the gay life of the metropolis. No man was 
more beloved than he, and it can be said that the death 
of no man in the last fifty years caused greater sorrow 
than the passing away of this true "man-about-town," 
after a long and lingering illness. 

The most conspicuous achievement in the life of Billy 
Deutsch, however, was far removed from the theatrical 
line, for he it was who really succeeded in breaking the 
bank at Monte Carlo. He also won at Paris clubs, 
and, without any exaggeration, he actually did win 
about a half million dollars in the short space of less than 
a month ; when this Prince of Good Fellows returned to 
America nothing was too good for his friends. Yet, aside 
from the handsome bestowals that he made upon his 
mother and sisters, the great fortune was soon squand- 
ered, the quicker perhaps in the belief that the same feat 
could be easily repeated, but alas, he did not long survive 





Stars who reigned supreme a quarter of a century ago. 

of S@u$ic anD tfie Drama 

the exhaustion of his large winnings, and died in Color- 
ado, whither he had gone under the care of friends who 
never failed him. On his death-bed this big-hearted 
spendthrift called in an attorney and handed him a large 
wallet containing notes for almost one hundred thousand 
dollars which he had loaned friends in his hey-days. 
Battling with death as he had with the cards he said to 
this legal adviser in the presence of a trusted friend : 

As long as I am alive these notes are safe and the 
makers of them are free from molestation, but at my 
death my creditors may wish to use summary methods 
for their collection, therefore I bring you to witness that 
I have destroyed the last vestige of their validity." 

Ten minutes after these notes were destroyed, the best 
fellow that ever lived breathed his last, and the announce- 
ment of his demise, when it reached Broadway, caused 
bitter tears to flow. The body was sent to New York, 
where his aged mother and father were prostrated with 
grief and they did not long survive him. 

A. L. Wilbur has reached his present status in the 
amusement world through recourse to as fair a contest 
with the fates as one could desire. He was first asso- 
ciated with Gustave and Daniel Frohman, taking the 
original "Hazel Kirke" to California. In 1882 he pro- 
duced "La Mascotte" at the Bijou Theatre with Emma 
and John Howson, and gave it as fine a production as 
money and care could procure. Wilbur lost $50,000 that 
season, so he didn't think the opera was comic to him; 
he was broke, too. The early salvation of this man then 
came in sight. It was at the time of Jacobs* and Proc- 
tor's great reign ; at popular prices the first week's profit 
was $1,000. Naturally, this made him think. Art opera 
lost $50,000, while popular-priced opera made $1,000 the 
first week. This set Wilbur to thinking harder, and he 
built up a company of seventy people, with a repertoire 

288 JFottp gears 2D60ertiatiott 

of forty operas. He produced novelties and introduced 
specialties into the operas, and paid as high as $500 a 
week for "The Girl with the Auburn Hair." Other fea- 
tures were added and the profits ran close to $100,000 a 
year. Wilbur paid good salaries and never missed an 
obligation during this precarious period of experiment. 
Susie Kerwin, J. C. Conly, E. A. Clark and W. H. 
Kohnle were with Wilbur twenty-five years. 

Wilbur, however, after a quarter of a century of profit 
read the signs and he retired from opera and entered 
into important business relations with E. D. Stair. To- 
gether they owned the Lyceum Theatre in Toledo; the 
beautiful Majestic Theatres in Boston and New York, he 
controls in conjunction with the Shubert Brothers, while 
the Brooklyn Majestic is owned jointly by Stair and Wil- 

Wilbur's experience was a notable one, hence its reci- 
tation here. An amusing anecdote, true undoubtedly, is 
told of him to the effect that when he engaged the 
principals for his opera company, in conferring with his 
agent he instructed that worthy to be liberal as to the 
compensation of artists, provided they played "poker," 
because as Wilbur put it, "I'll pay them Tuesdays and 
win it back the next day." 

Florence Edith Clinton (Mrs. Theodore) Sutro, was 
born in London, England, on May i, 1865, and died in 
New York on April 27, 1906, within a few days of her 
forty-first birthday. 

She was one of the most beautiful, gifted and accom- 
plished women of her time and combined with these qual- 
ities a strong, yet sweet and womanly, character. From 
her childhood on, until her premature death, her life was 
one of ceaseless activity, full of kind and noble deeds, 
so that she became to be recognized as a type of almost 
perfect womanhood and an example to her sex. 

of 8tt0ic ana t&e Drama 239 

She was of an intensely artistic temperament, and at 
an early age displayed a remarkable talent for music, 
which was carefully trained and developed by her father 
who had considerable musical ability, and she was gen- 
erally regarded as one of the best amateur pianists in the 
country. But while she continued to devote her chief 
attention to music and to the encouragement of every- 
thing that related thereto, her mind was of such breadth 
that there was nothing in the field of human knowledge 
and achievement that did not interest her. 

On October i, 1884, she was married at Jersey City 
to Theodore Sutro, a well-known member of the bar, 
and who himself had considerable musical and artistic 
taste. From that time on, her home was a gathering place 
of talented and notable people in music, art generally, 
literature, and all walks of life. 

In 1895 she was appointed Chairman of the Committee 
on Music and of the Committee on Law from New York 
in aid of the Women's Department of the Cotton States 
and International Exposition at Atlanta, Ga., and at that 
time wrote an interesting illustrated pamphlet entitled 
"Women in Music and Law," containing, among other 
matters, a list of musical compositions and writings on 
law by women. 

In recognition of her great services to the cause of 
music in this country, as well as her own talents and 
attainments, in 1899 she received the degree of Doctor of 
Music from the Grand Conservatory of Music in New 
York, she being the only woman in the United States to 
achieve the distinction of bearing that title at that time. 

Among the numerous charitable affairs which she or- 
ganized was the production in 1902 of a musical operetta 
composed by a woman, the large proceeds of which went 
for the benefit of the Vassar Students' Aid Society for 
the purpose of assisting several young girls to go to Vas- 

290 JFortp gears 2D&0ertmttott 

sar College. It was in that performance that she im- 
personated the character of Saint Cecilia, the patron of 
music, and it is her portrait as such, photographed at the 
time, which adorns these pages. In loveliness, character 
and genius Mrs. Sutro was in truth a modern Saint 
Cecilia, and this resemblance was emphasized by the 
wonderful fortitude with which, like Saint Cecilia of old, 
she bore the intense sufferings of her last illness. This 
picture has been greatly admired by artists and others 
as the most beautiful Saint Cecilia that has ever been 
produced, at the same time that it is a perfect photograph 
of Mrs. Sutro. Almost every great artist has attempted 
to paint Saint Cecilia, but in feature, expression and 
everything about Mrs. Sutro in this character this photo- 
graph surpasses all of them. 

of 8it0ic anD tfte Drama 291 


Anton Rubinstein came to America for one hundred 
concerts in the fall of 1872. He, as has been stated, was 
under contract to Jacob Grau, but, that impresario being 
incapacitated by a paralytic stroke, in Vienna, Maurice 
Grau, aided by the generous William Steinway, assumed 
his uncle's obligation. The tour began at Steinway Hall, 
in October. Henri Wieniawski, the violinist, was almost 
as great an attraction as Rubinstein. The latter was 
characterized by the New York Herald as "a lion in 
person and a giant in art." Two hundred dollars a con- 
cert was all that this artist received on this tour, and he 
bitterly resented the terms he was induced to accept. 
Ever afterwards he refused to entertain any proposition, 
although as high as $2,000 a concert had been offered 
him by Maurice Grau. The tour netted about $60,000, 
which in those years was considered phenomenal. The 
largest receipts were at a Monday matinee recital, when 
the great Russian pianist gave the entire programme, 
$3,100 being received. Two dollars was the highest price 
for seats. 

Wieniawski was of ponderous size and as genial as he 
was large. His playing has never been equalled by any 
of the violin virtuosi who have since visited these shores. 
Wieniawski lost much of his potency by appearing here 
with so colossal a star as Rubinstein. In the middle of 
this great tournee, Grau arranged with Jacob Gosche for 
the combined appearance of Rubinstein and Wieniawski 

292 JFottp gears 2D&$ertmtion 

with Theodore Thomas' orchestra; this will give some 
idea as to the quality of the musical treats which were 
placed before American audiences thirty-seven years 
ago. The Rubinstein company also included two other art- 
ists, a soprano, Louise Leibhardt, and a contralto, Mad- 
ame Ormeny, but neither aroused any enthusiasm. It 
should be stated here that the late William Steinway ex- 
ercised a vast influence in matters musical, during his ac- 
tive life. No event of importance in the musical world 
was possible without his help, and as evidence that this 
support was not selfish, it need only be stated further 
that in 1873 he also financed for Grau the first American 
tour of Tomaso Salvini when that wonderful artist came 
to America with his Italian company. 

George W. Bunnell was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, 
on August 4th, 1835. Before our Civil War, he toured 
the country with a menagerie and museum, selling 
Yankee notions and refreshments. In a short time he 
and his brother, J. W. Bunnell, were connected with 
circus companies. In 1861 he had heard much of the 
fame of the late P. T. Barnum and had read of his experi- 
ences and knew of his attractive features. He observed 
that Barnum didn't always have the right manager, hence 
did not always get the best returns for what Bunnell 
thought enterprises were worth. He afterwards met 
Barnum and his manager at his old American Museum, 
which, later, became the New York Herald Building, 
corner Broadway and Ann Street. He proposed and 
effected a deal for touring the States in the summer, 
in tents, and the West Indies in winter. They made a 
great success, summer and winter, for three years. From 
that time on Barnum welcomed Bunnell, then perman- 
ently in the original Flatfoot Party, which consisted of 
the following: Louis Titus (with Angevine and June), 
George F. Bailey, John June, Louis June, John J. 

of 6@u0ic and tjje Drama 293 

Nathans, Richard Sands, G. C. Quick and Avery Smith, 
the Captain General, so called. The above were the 
principal workers in the party, men of honor, bound by 
their word, men of Putnam County New York, and Fair- 
field County, Connecticut, the original pioneers of the 
circus field. 

These gentlemen would sometimes start an enterprise, 
two, three or four together, talk it over in every phase, 
all important questions being thoroughly discussed. 
They would buy out a circus as it was, or enough to suit 
their immediate wants, take it under their wing, and 
import first elephants, or rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus, 
(the easily trained ones). The one of their party who 
understood it best would go to Europe and import, an- 
other would attend to fitting up teams and transportation 
wagons, obtaining all the paraphernalia needed, while 
another looked after the equestrian end; still others 
looked after the trained animals. The first great impor- 
tation was the entire European circus, then known as 
"the Great S. B. How's company," from Ashley's Royal 
Amphitheatre, London, which, in 1864, was the reigning, 
drawing attraction in America. During the last year or 
two of this organization, when Barnum was manager, in 
Bridgeport, he offered his lot free for the grounds of the 
great company, and thus that city became famous in 
after years as the winter headquarters of the Barnum 

Later, in 1871, W. C. Coup, Dan Castillo and Bunnell 
joined Barnum and the great European show was closed 
and sold out. During the summer season of 1872-73, 
the Barnum Show, under this management, beat the 
world's record (held by Barnum) with fires and floods 
against them. In 1874, Coup and Castillo conceived the 
idea of a stationary hippodrome for New York, which 
was continued for two years. In 1876 a halt was called 

294 Jfortp gears 2D60ertmtton 

and the original policy of management was resumed. 
Barnum was induced to sell out to the members of the 
original Flatfoot Party, previously mentioned. They 
bought the Hippodrome, and returned to first principles 
with greater success and made a greater name than ever. 
During the seasons between 1875 and 1880, Bunnell 
started permanent museums in New York, Brooklyn and 
Brighton Beach, in conjunction with Barnum, who in- 
troduced Bunnell to the public and press as his successor 
and instructed him to proclaim himself as such. Bunnell 
originally conceived the idea of popular priced museums, 
not only in stationary buildings, but in opera houses and 
theatres, beginning at the Court Square, Brooklyn, leas- 
ing it for five years, privilege conditional to selling 
(chance which did happen), leaving him a profit of over 
twenty thousand dollars in seventeen months, and ending 
the ist of May, 1883. In Buffalo, St. James Hall was 
leased, and Bunnell managed it from 1883 until the 
Richmond Hotel fire consumed the entire square, now 
occupied entirely by the Iroquois Hotel. This proved 
another gold mine. Bunnell was the founder of museums 
in America, and he was a factor in the earliest circus 
history. To-day he lives in Southport, Conn., but a few 
miles from the spot where he was born, and where the 
original Flatfoot Party was founded. 

Over in Brooklyn, in one of the Percy Williams 
Theatres, T he Crescent, there is one artist, Emelie Mel- 
ville, who to-day is appearing in dramatic roles with as 
much success as in her operatic roles ; and what a career 
she has had! Like Emma Howson, a volume could be 
written of her achievements alone. I recall her as 
Serpolette in "Les Cloches de Corneville" (she originated 
the role in New York), and in "The Royal Middy" how 
she did score! Miss Melville succeeded Clara Louise 
Kellogg, under C. D. Hess, and I remember her in 

of fiu0ic ann tfje Drama 295 

Ambroise Thomas' opera "Songs of a Summer Night" 
which had its first hearing in this city at the 5th Avenue 
Theatre. The Emelie Melville Opera Company, 1881- 
1883, gave a repertoire of Opera Bouffe in English, 
"Girofle Girofla," "La Perichole" and "La Grande 
Duchesse" being particularly well given. Is it not worth 
while to recall such artists before their careers become 
obsolete? Now comes to my mind Fred Leslie who, in 
"Madame Favart" at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, in 1884, 
with Catharine Lewis in the title role, drew tremendous 
audiences for months. Leslie was a comedian of the 
most finished type and his premature demise was a sad 
happening. Catherine Lewis was undoubtedly the great- 
est Olivette that ever lived, not excepting Marie Aimee. 
Her career, however, was very stormy and she did not 
prosper for a long period. Alice Oates, for over fifteen 
years, headed her own Opera Bouffe Company; some of 
our best comedians of to-day and not a few stars, received 
their schooling in her organization. Samuel Colville 
directed the Oates Company for a few years, and while 
he guided this gifted woman she was a potent attraction. 

Among others who came to America at the head of 
English Opera Bouffe was Julia Matthews, who was so 
typically English that she was not understood here; in 
England she reigned supreme. 

Then came Violet Cameron, who had about the first 
live lord in her wake that England had sent hither as 
Press Representative the real Lord Lonsdale too ! Oh, 
what a rumpus he did kick up while he was here, about 
the Casino! Violet failed most signally, and her failure 
can be attributed to the absurd idea, which then prevailed, 
that the coming of Lord Lonsdale would be accounted 
to the constructive side of the enterprise. 

Barry Sullivan, the Irish tragedian who came to 
America in the late yo's, under the management of Jarrett 

296 JFottp gears 2D60ertmtton 

and Palmer, and appeared at Booth's Theatre, did not 
score a great financial success, and even his own country- 
men, as a rule so loyal, did not enthuse over him, though 
his Richard the Third was perhaps the greatest expo- 
sition of that role that this country had witnessed, at 
least up to that time; if it has been excelled since then, 
it must have been by Richard Mansfield, an artist whose 
extraordinary and wholly charming career is being ex- 
ploited at this time in a special volume with which I can 
not hope to compete. I may here be permitted to state 
that Mansfield's Dromez in "Manteaux Noirs" (Black 
Cloaks) was as consummately artistic as anything that 
he ever afterward presented. 

Madame Nazimova might yet be playing in the Ghetto 
district but for the foresight of Henry Miller. This 
unique artiste came out here with a band of Russian 
players, whose vicissitudes were simply unbearable to an 
artist of such distinction ; when the opportunity came she 
had both the ability and the disposition to forsake the 
Russian stage. Her most perfect work was first offered 
to this public in a dingy hall on East Third Street but a 
few years ago. In this environment Henry Miller had 
the courage to approach her and in a single night, as the 
saying goes, but in this instance it was at a matinee, her 
fame was spread. Her first English appearances, at a 
series of matinees at the Bijou, The Princess, and the 
Herald Square Theatres, drew audiences limited only by 
the size of the auditoriums. Her matinees, of which 
nearly thirty were given in rapid succession, became the 
fad; finally a regular and lengthy engagement at the 
Bijou Theatre resulted in placing Madame Nazimova in 
the front rank, permanently, and to-day she is one of the 
most important of the Shubert attractions. 

If a critical work were expounded, few players have 
provided more material for its contents than Henry 

of fi@ti0ic ana tfje Drama 297 

Miller. Mr. Miller, as recalled by this writer, was at all 
times a conspicuous figure. In Howard Taylor's 
"Caprice" he gave Minnie Madden (now Mrs. Fiske) 
such support that his stellar position was even then, in 
the early 8o's, assured. Miller married Matilde Heron's 
daughter Bijou, one of the world's few prodigies to 
reach a career of importance. In 1902 when, after about 
six years of negotiations, I prevailed upon Miller to 
follow in the footsteps of so many others, and embrace 
vaudeville, $1,500 a week was the bait I set for this dis- 
tinguished capture. Mr. Miller presented "Frederic Le- 
maitre" in which he scored the most remarkable and the 
most artistic triumph that had, up to that time, been 
achieved in the growing vaudeville field. This one actor 
embraced the opportunity as frankly as he did unassum- 
ingly. He wanted the money, and he did not think it 
would injure him. And let it be said that the Henry 
Miller prosperity began with this engagement. With 
the profits of this effort he was enabled to join the Messrs. 
Shubert at the Princess Theatre where, with Margaret 
Anglin, in "Zira," he began a period of activity which has 
resulted in his becoming one of the most important pro- 
viders for the stage in this country. 

Bertha Kalich like Madame Nazimova, was "discov- 
ered" in the Ghetto. There she held sway for several 
years in the Windsor Theatre, then called after her, and 
was directed by her husband, Leopold Spachner. In this 
playhouse she was the main attraction during almost its 
entire devotion to Yiddish plays, and the repertoire ac- 
cumulated by her was of the most extended description. 
Madame Kalich created the leading roles in the majority 
of works evolved by Jacob Gordin, and other renowned 
contributors to the Yiddish stage. Like Jacob Adler, she 
first attracted the attention of American play-goers at 
the American Theatre, where for two weeks she was seen 

298 JFortp gears SD60ertmtion 

supported by an English-speaking company, and it was 
at this time that Harrison Grey Fiske began to negotiate 
for her permanent appearance as an English-speaking 
star. Among her greatest successes under this regime 
may be named "Monna Vanna," "The Kreutzer Sonata/* 
and "Marta of the Lowlands," the latter of which had 
previously served another actress from the Yiddish stage, 
Miss Fernanda Elliscu, who, however, graduated from 
the English stage to the Yiddish ; she succeeding Madame 
Kalich at her own theatre. 

In the Fall of 1891, Mr. A. M. Bagby inaugurated, in 
his own studio at "The Rembrandt," the series of musi- 
cal mornings which to this day have been continued with 
so much success. It was in 1893 that these delightful and 
artistic events were transferred to the ball-room of the 
Waldorf Astoria. At the outset Mr. Bagby lectured on 
the history of Music, and illustrations by the best artists 
of the period were used to typify the subjects theorized. 
Since then nearly all the great artists of Grand Opera 
and all the great vocal and instrumental celebrities who 
have visited these shores in the last fifteen years were 
heard. These "Mornings" are not public, and were made 
possible by private subscription, the subscribers multi- 
plying until, to-day, the list represents over two thousand 
of the most influential and aristocratic music lovers of 
this city. Mr. Bagby wrote "Miss Traumerie," a musical 
novel in which Franz Liszt and his best-known pupils 
of this generation are the central figures. 

Out in Seattle there is a man named John Cort who, 
thirty years ago, was running a "joint" as such places 
were called. To-day he has a chain of thirty theatres 
under his personal control, and is also the manager of 
Madame Calve. He has five or six dramatic attractions 
of importance at all times. Cort was a queer figure at 
the outset of his career, and he will not deny that his 

of 8u0ic anD tfie Drama 299 

early operations were conducted on lines that he would 
to-day abhor. 

Pietro Mascagni, when he came to America in the fall 
of 1902, was under the direction of the Brothers Mitten- 
thai, who through an agent named Kronberg had been 
induced to provide the capital for the most disgracefully 
conducted enterprise of the last decade. Had Mascagni 
visited these shores under a manager like Henry Wolf- 
sohn, or had he even come without business aid, 
he would have been one of the sensations of the 
period. Coming, as he did, with a bad mixed orchestra 
and endeavoring to make three productions of wholly 
new works with but a single orchestral rehearsal for each, 
his tour resulted, as it only could, in disaster. Mascagni's 
brief reign in this country was replete with far from 
pleasant and certainly not dignified experiences; yet he 
was by all odds the greatest and most worthy musical 
figure that has visited us during the last ten years. His 
work as a conductor, even under all circumstances, was 
of such kind as to cast a spell over the few spectators 
who gathered to listen to his works. The Mittenthals 
are six or seven in number. They came from Blooming- 
ton, Illinois, and are the "Impresarios" of Melodrama on 
a large scale at this time. Their badly conducted tournee 
ended in Mascagni's arrest, in Boston, for debt, and he 
left this country under conditions greatly to be regretted, 
and which, for a time, seemed to threaten international 

Ben Greet was born in London, and is entering his 
fiftieth year, more than half of which has been devoted 
to the standard dramas. After an apprenticeship of five 
years in various "stock" companies he appeared upon 
the London stage in "Cymbeline" with Miss Wallis and 
E. S. Willard, followed by a series of classical plays at 
what were then known as "Gaiety Matinees." 

3 oo JFottp gears 2D&0ertmtiott 

The Gaiety, under the management of John Rollings- 
head, was the first established of the matinee theatres 
of London. 

Soon afterward Mr. Greet joined the companies of Mr. 
Henry Abbey, and supported Miss Anderson and Mr. 
Lawrence Barrett at the Lyceum. He was engaged to 
come to America in support of Mme. Modjeska, but, 
plans being altered, he was transferred to the support 
of another American star. For two years he played the 
part of the dude in Miss Minnie Palmer's first production 
of "My Sweetheart," in which play he was also nearly 
fated to cross the Atlantic, but succeeded in transferring 
the role to Lawrance D'Orsay, who made a memorable 
hit in it. The tendency toward Shakespeare asserted it- 
self and, in 1887, Mr. Greet was asked to give open-air 
plays at London, Windsor, Oxford and Cambridge, Mil- 
ton, Askridge, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon, and other 
Shakespearean centres, in commemoration of Queen Vic- 
toria's Golden Jubilee. Since then he has continued the 
practice each summer; for the winter months he has 
gathered a company of young and enthusiastic players of 
the chief London theatres around him. They were origi- 
nally known as "The Dramatic Students," but the title 
being somewhat misleading it was eventually changed to 
"The Ben Greet Players" ; for the open-air plays the addi- 
tional word "Woodland" was prefixed. He was invited by 
the Elizabethan Stage Society to reproduce the old 
morality play "Everyman" before the general public, it 
having been given only as a semi-private representation 
in London the previous season. 

The play was given for three months, at various thea- 
tres in London, and ran all through the "Coronation" 
season, causing one of the greatest sensations of the 
time. Soon afterwards Charles Frohman persuaded Mr. 
Greet to bring the play to America, where it opened to 

of 99ti0ic anO tfje Drama 301 

$46.00 at Mendelssohn Hall in October, 1902. After the 
third representation the manager was invited to pack up 
his "props" and return to his native land, which invita- 
tion was politely but firmly declined. 

Mr. Greet thinks that the American people were just 
on the starvation or stagnation point, dramatically speak- 
ing. The colleges had begun to gasp for some dramatic 
fresh air. The college presidents and professors clam- 
ored for "Everyman" to be represented within their walls, 
and the ministers all over the country, and of every de- 
nomination, besought their people to see this wonderful 
morality play. For two years the play was presented 
steadily, by two companies, and is continually revived. 
Last December it was given in New York. Its revival 
has undoubtedly started renaissance of drama in this 
country. Colleges have formed dramatic societies and 
art theatres are springing up in the large cities. Mr. 
Greet had long resisted the opportunities of coming to 
America because he knew the enthusiasm of its play- 
goers would have almost an hypnotic effect upon a like 
enthusiast, and he was right. 

He has now devoted six years to the propagation of 
the "ensemble" system in this country and with abso- 
lutely no commercial profit to himself. He feels that a 
great deal has been done. The road has been up hill all 
the time and beset with difficulties, chiefly pecuniary, be- 
cause the public that wants his work is not a public that 
can afford to pay for it. He has recently been offered a 
lease of one of the most charming small theatres in New 
York, where he could carry out his pet scheme, which is 
to have the "theatre of the beautiful," where all the great 
uplifting dramas of the world can be acted before just the 
men and women who need and appreciate them. 

In no calling is it possible to ascend to such heights as 
in the theatrical business. Everywhere one finds men 

302 JFottp gears 2D60ettiation 

who were ushers, or doorkeepers, or libretto boys, enjoy- 
ing the reward of simple stability. All that has been 
necessary was not to abandon the effort. 

In Toronto, Ambrose J. Small, by dint of perseverance, 
has in a short span of years built up a circuit of forty 
theatres, the only circuit, too, in the Dominion of Canada. 
Mr. Small, also, has two theatres in Toronto, the Grand 
Opera House, a theatre of much historic worth, and the 
Majestic, devoted to popular-priced amusements. 

Peter M. McCourt, of the Tabor Opera House, Denver, 
has never, so far back as I can recall, been identified with 
any other establishment; surely this renders a denial to 
the oft-repeated statements that theatrical life is nomadic, 
that its people are unreliable, and that they lack stability. 

In Kansas City the eight theatres are conducted by 
men who have spent their lives in the theatrical profes- 

Hudson and Judah, who conducted the Coates Opera 
House and another establishment have, for a quarter of 
a century, survived panics, floods, crop failures, and what 
not ; these men accumulated vast wealth, and contributed 
much to the progress of the city itself. Mr. Hudson died 
two years ago. Since then Mr. Judah has been in com- 
mand of the Grand Opera House at Kansas City and 
made it the leading "Dollar House" of this country. 

O. D. Woodward, also of Kansas City, is a distinct 
illustration of the reward in store for application to theat- 
rical management. Starting with a military production 
entitled "True Blue," in 1888, he adroitly arranged with 
military organizations, or, as they are called, Grand Army 
Posts, and large profits were derived. Then Woodward 
went into the repertoire field, organizing small companies, 
presenting royalty plays throughout the West. In Oma- 
ha, one of these, in 1894, inaugurated a campaign which 
lasted three years, and from this resulted the partnership 

of 6@u$tc anD tfte Drama sos 

which has ever since existed between W. J. Burgess and 
himself, and which to-day controls three beautiful thea- 
tres in Kansas City, the Auditorium, the Willis Wood 
Theatre, and the Shubert, also theatres in Omaha, Sioux 
City, and Sioux Falls.* 

O. B. Sheppard has been manager of either the Grand 
Opera House or Princess Theatre in Toronto for over 
thirty years. He began as treasurer for Mrs. Morrison, 
and in 1879 became the manager, a position he has main- 
tained to this date. 

Moses Reis is perhaps the largest single operator of 
theatres in smaller cities in this country. Thirty years 
ago, what was known as the "Oil Circuit," in Pennsyl- 
vania and New York State, was created by Samuel T. 
Jack, a manager who certainly did pioneer work in his 
generation. In after years he lent his name to burlesque 
companies of decidedly questionable character, but this 
does not wholly obliterate the good results achieved by 
him as a builder-up of theatrical territory. 

When Jack retired from the management of these thea- 
tres he was succeeded by a firm known as Wagner and 
Reis, which for the last fifteen years has been continued 
by Reis alone. To-day this one manager owns, controls, 
or manages over one hundred theatres and represents one 
hundred more, and all of these are by no means of the 
smaller type. The first class houses in Syracuse, Roch- 
ester, Troy, Utica, Scranton, Reading, etc., are owned or 
leased by Reis. A theatre in a city like Syracuse, to-day, 
is as important an enterprise as was the conduct of a 
theatre in New York City, even as recently as a decade 
ago; therefore, the enormity of the operations of such 
men as Mr. Reis and Julius Cahn can better be grasped. 

*The Shubert Theatre in Kansas City has reverted to the 
Messrs. Shuberts, by a court decision, handed down on February 
4, 1909. 

304 JFottp gears 2D60ettmtion 

As a matter of fact, it is very much to be doubted if, 
aside from Klaw and Erlanger and Al. Hayman, the 
theatrical business has produced any business men who 
have amassed as much wealth as these two individuals; 
again is the lie given to the lack of stability which so 
often is suggested as characterizing the business depart- 
ment of the amusement field. 

Were it not for the five per cent, which these men get 
as representatives of the theatres they do not own or 
lease, the sum total of their resulting operations would 
be greatly reduced. This five per cent, is by no means a 
small factor in theatrical history. It has already caused 
one vaudeville war, and the "handwriting on the wall" 
would indicate that another such war, but of far greater 
dimensions, is imminent, for the coterie of magnates who 
held sway on the eighth floor of the St. James Building 
have just propounded an ultimatum that, henceforth, the 
vaudeville agent who may be permitted to operate in con- 
junction with this "syndicate," will be compelled to exact 
an extra five per cent, from the player, and of this extra 
five per cent, one-half (2.^/2 per cent.) must be paid over 
to the managers themselves. 

Who shall say that the organization known as The 
White Rats of America, which is to-day composed of 
three times as many artists as at the time of the last 
strike three thousand being the present membership 
will, at their next important procedure, not end for all 
time the reign of this policy which has caused so much 
strife. If not, what will the end be? How far can these 
managers pursue their present policy? 

The error of a strike will surely not be repeated, and 
with practically all the players bound fast to this pro- 
tective society, it would seem an almost absolute cer- 
tainty, that before another year passes, vaudeville will 
provide another sensation. Who shall say that the end 

of 9@u$ic anD t&e Drama 305 

may not find the players themselves the guardians of this 
five per cent, with their own theatres, their own agency, 
conducted for them, perhaps by a man like William Mor- 
ris? Then will be inauguarated a war in which the 
public will cast the final vote. 

Vaudeville is in its infancy. The era of $2.00 a seat for 
this class of entertainment is yet to come and not so very 
far off. Wagner's Trilogy in modern vaudeville is a 
likely spectacle and the organization of symphony or- 
chestras is even now discussed; therefore, if this volume 
has devoted much of its limitations to the field of vaude- 
ville, the incentive is not without sincerity. 

In olden times it was customary for the advance agents 
and business managers to meet each other on the Rialto, 
then located on Union Square, and exchange their varied 
experiences. The Morton House was a favorite refuge, 
and I recall a gathering which consisted of John H. 
Russell, John Rickaby, Julius Cahn, Edgar Strakosch and 
his cousin Carl Strakosch, and one particular individual 
who because of the anecdote about to be related shall be 
called Edward. 

Edward had just started out as the avant courier for a 
manager of noted aversion to expense accounts, and the 
boys were having some fun with the somewhat inexperi- 
enced agent. One of these approached Edward and asked 
him why he did not dress better, and said it would not 
be possible for him to make progress as an agent if he 
kept up a shabby appearance on the road. At length, 
John H. Russell asked Edward what his salary was 
amounting to. 

"Twenty-five dollars," he responded. "And how the 
deuce do you expect me to dress well and be honest." 

"Why don't you work a suit of clothes into your ex- 
pense account?" queried Russell. 

306 Jfortp gears 2D60ettoation 

"Can you do that?" asked the green, but somewhat 
suspicious agent. 

"Why yes," answered Russell. 

"All right. I'll do that," and off went Edward, deter- 
mined to act on the advice. 

The rest of this story was told to me by Russell. It 
seems that Edward and Russell met on a tour a little 
later, and the former was well dressed and groomed. He 
began at once to protest to Russell. 

"You are a fine fellow. I went out in a lot of one 
night stands, got this suit of clothes, put it in my expense 
account and sent the statement into headquarters and 
they gave me the laugh, now I have got to go to third 
class hotels to afford this suit I have on." 

Russell responded : "You are a fool. You don't mean 
to tell me that you put in your expense account a bill for 
a suit of clothes. I didn't mean that. I meant when you 
bought a railroad ticket for $4.00 charge $6.00, and when 
you paid a bill for $5.00 charge $8.00, and gradually work 
the suit of clothes out of it." 

"Oh, is that the way? Well, I see now," said Edward. 

Two weeks later Russell met the manager of the attrac- 
tion for which Edward was pilot and he asked how Ed- 
ward's "expense" account was getting on. 

The manager, with a broad grin, told how Edward had 
sent another expense account. There were no clothes 
charged up, but the account was much larger than usual. 
Such dubious items as "One thing and another, $10.00," 
being included, it excited his suspicion, so he sent for 
Edward and reprimanded him and threatened that if the 
expense account was as large in the next statement he 
would discharge him. "I tolerate this one large as it is, 
because there are no clothes items," said the manager. 

"But the clothes are in there all right," said Edward. 

In March, 1864, in Toledo, Ohio, J. H. Haverly to- 

of sgtm'c anD tfte Drama 

gather with Rube Lent were running a saloon and 
restaurant; a month later Haverly purchased a half in- 
terest in Stickney Hall in conjunction with James Hayes 
and before the end of April had also secured the remain- 
ing half interest. He ran a variety show, what is to-day 
called vaudeville, and that same spring he organized his 
first road show which was also "Variety." This played 
one night in Adrian, Mich., and then returned to Toledo. 
In this company it is worth noting, were Dora Dawson, 
James Riley, Nick Norton, Gus Lee, Master Seamon, 
Walter Wentworth and Fanny Hillington. Haverly 
organized a small Minstrel Company in the Fall of 1864, 
with Dick Sands, Dan W. Collins, O. P. Sweet and 
others. Later Haverly went in with Cal Wagner 
("Happy Cal"), sold out his lease in The Toledo Theatre, 
gave his attention to his Minstrel interests and thus began 
to achieve success, which soon developed into the impor- 
tant organizations with which his name was so long 

The city of Cleveland, Ohio, has provided much 
history, because many problems were solved in Theatri- 
cals in that city. A veritable array of old timers began 
their operations in the Ohio town and more than forty 
years ago, John D. Rockefeller, who was then as now, a 
great factor in oil fields, was probably laying the founda- 
tion of his remarkable career. Naturally all the oil people 
turned to Cleveland; among these was John Steele then 
known as "Coal Oil Johnny," who was at that period 
1865-70 at the height of his spectacular career. The 
discovery of oil in Pennsylvania had raised him from 
poverty to affluence and like all the newly and suddenly 
enriched men of that time was a spendthrift. 

Nick Norton, long associated with Hyde and Behman 
and to whom I wish to acknowledge material aid in the 
recital of these records as far as the Ohio town is con- 

308 JFottp gears D&sertmtion 

earned, was then among the forces of A. Montpelier who 
had come up from Cincinnati to open Kelly's Hall as a 
Variety Theatre. Changing the name to Athenaeum, 
Norton was stage manager and revelled in the magnifi- 
cent salary of $20 per week, a large sum indeed for that 
period. But to return to Steele, he maintained large and 
elaborate apartments at the Weddel House and he always 
liked to mix with actors. Needless it is to say that he 
was a welcome guest behind the scenes and right royally 
did he pay for the privilege. He was an amateur minstrel 
himself and it was his delight to load the entire company 
into four-horse sleighs after a performance and drive to a 
road house at Rocky River, where would be set an 
elaborate dinner, with anything the Thespians wanted to 
drink. On one of these "jaunts" the players got back just 
in time to dress and "Ring up" for the evening perform- 

Steele and his chum, Slocum came along with the 
feasted actors, and during the evening they purchased 
champagne by the basket. By eleven o'clock the players 
were mellow, and as Steele kept urging Nick Norton to 
ring down, the stage manager gave the order for "The 
Grand Walk Around" which always closed the show, in 
this instance, an hour earlier than usual. 

The next morning, Montpelier the manager, gave the 
entire company, including Norton their notice of one 
week, explaining that it was merely a matter of discipline. 
As illustrative of the ways of the Thespians in the 6o's, 
this leaf from Mr. Norton's busy life story is revealed 

What is now the Chestnut Street Opera House in 
Philadelphia was, forty years ago, one of the five or six 
first class Variety Theatres in this country. Robert Fox 
was the manager, and here is recalled that in one pro- 
gramme I saw Delehanty and Hengler, Peter Baker and 

of 90u0ic attD tfie Drama 309 

Tom Farren who for so long starred in "Chris and Lena," 
and J. C. (Fatty) Stewart, who also was a manager at 
Apollo Hall and, during the Centennial year, 1876, had a 
large theatre on North Broad Street. Others in the bill 
that night at Bob Fox's were Billy Barry, Ella Wesner 
and Jenny Kimball. 

Mr. Norton has provided me with a list of the theatres 
devoted to Varieties in the season of 1864-65 which is 
well worth record at this time and is therefore appended: 

Howard Athenaeum, Boston, Mass. 

Bob Butler's Theatre Comique, 444 Broadway, New 
York City. 

Robert Fox's Casino, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Bob Gardner's Melodeon, Baltimore Street, Baltimore, 

George Lee's Canterbury, Washington, D. C. 

Ben Trimble's Varieties, Pittsburg, Pa. 

Tom Carr's Melodeon, Main Street, Buffalo, N. Y. 

Montpelier's Athenaeum, Superior Street, Cleveland, 

Theatre Comique (Chas. M. Welch), Detroit, Mich. 

Charles Chadwick's Varieties, Dearborn Street, Chi- 
cago, 111. 

George Deagle's Varieties, St. Louis, Mo. 

Green Street Varieties (Capt. John Smith), Albany, 
N. Y. 

Palace Varieties, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Haverly's Theatre (J. H. Haverly), Todelo, Ohio. 

Spaulding and Bidwell's, St, Charles Theatre, New 
Orleans, La. 

Bloom's Varieties (John Bloom), Memphis, Tenn. 

Tom Poland's Varieties, Nashville, Tenn. 

Bella Union, San Francisco, Cal. 

The list is unimportant as compared with the formidable 
array of houses to-day, but these were the schools 

310 jfortp gears 

wherein many of the important legitimate actors of to- 
day and practically every comic opera comedian of im- 
portance was trained to his work. Men like Eddie Foy, 
Ned Harrigan, Francis Wilson, James T. Powers, Peter 
Dailey and hundreds of others were grounded in these 
variety houses and they do credit to their instructors. 

B. C. Hart, now connected with the New York Morning 
Telegraph, in its Editorial Department, was one of 
the old time Managers of Varieties; in Cleveland, he 
maintained the Academy of Music, nearly thirty-five 
years ago. He also had a hotel there where the actors 
were wont to stop. 

Hart always had four walls in Cleveland up to the time 
he retired from Management, and with much ingenuity 
in 1888, he turned a large skating rink but a few doors 
from the Euclid Avenue Opera House into a popular 
priced theatre, and here some well known combinations 
appeared with success. The period was favorable to the 
inauguration of such a venture as it marked the com- 
mencement of the reign of the xoc, 2oc, and aoc scale of 
prices which Jacobs and Proctor originated and which 
created an upheaval similar in effect to that of the Moving 
Picture Theatre of to-day. 

A combination which had much prestige in the 70*8 
was "Hallen and Hart's First Prize Ideals." Frederick 
Hallen had been an apprentice of Add. Weaver, an old 
time negro comedian whose vogue lasted until a compara- 
tively recent date. With Joseph Hart as partner the two 
had a roster of vaudeville talent that would not compare 
unfavorably with the best seen to-day. It must be here 
stated that Hallen and Hart, when they played dates in 
Variety Theatres before the above combination was 
evolved did not include Joseph Hart. Hallen's first wife 
was Miss Enid Hart, and the firm of Hallen and Hart 
emanated from the stage work of these two very clever 

of a^usic anD t&e Drama sn 

artists, being the first to give sketches of the type 
rendered in Modern Vaudeville by Hallen and his present 
wife, Mollie Fuller. 

It was in the late 8o's that Hallen and Hart presented 
the musical comedy "Later On" which brought them 
much renown and financial reward. This company was 
for a long time managed by Harry Hine, noted for his 
Beau Brummel exterior. The death of Hine had much to 
do with the abandonment of the "Later On" tours and 
this caused the separation of Hallen and Hart. 

Joseph Hart became very active after this separation 
and his career has been so prolific and his achievements 
of so recent a date that it remains only to be stated that 
at this time he is perhaps the most important producer 
in vaudeville, controlling more than a dozen attractions 
of sterling worth, none of which are forced to idleness for 
even a single week. 

Hart is at present in England, where he has begun to 
operate quite as extensively as here. His wife is known 
on the stage as Carrie De Mar. The writer recalls her 
as chorister in one of his opera companies in the Grand 
Opera House in Philadelphia, in the summer of 1890, but 
even then, evidences of the talent she afterward devel- 
oped were not lacking and her terpsichorean qualifications 
did even at that time attract managerial attention. A 
sister of Carrie De Mar, known as "Fleurette," also a 
danseuse piquante, has found much vogue and is often to 
be seen in the productions of Mr. Hart and in the various 
musical comedy productions that go on tour. 

The site of the present Fifth Avenue Theatre has been 
the scene of theatrical industry as far back as can be 
recalled. The first name by which it was known was 
St. James Hall. There was an auditorium seating about 
800, very similar to that which later on, in the same block, 
became known as "The Morgue." A company of ver- 

312 Jfottp gears 

satile players known as "The Brennans" played here in 
an entertainment similar to that which concert organiza- 
tions of to-day present, save that the distinctly Hibernian 
quality, then prevalent, is not to-day conspicuous. "Mac 
Avoys' Hibernicon" also performed there and this equip- 
ment of Irish singers and actors were factors throughout 
the country for more than a quarter of a century. 

However, it was with the famed San Francisco Min- 
strels that St. James Hall first found success or prestige. 
This merry band achieved fame and fortune both in this 
Hall and, later, in "The Morgue" which was a part of the 
Gilsey Estate. The block still stands, very little changed 
from forty years ago. The first manager to occupy the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre, when it was built on the site of 
St. James Hall was D. H. Harkins, afterward a dis- 
tinguished member of Augustin Daly's Company, a 
player of great merit and distinction, with a career of vast 
length and notable achievements. 

Dan Bryant was for a long period at 472 Broadway, 
and in the early 'jo's had his Minstrel band in the little 
theatre on East i4th Street, which afterward housed Tony 
Pastor's Vaudeville efforts. When Pastor left his lower 
Broadway Theatre, the San Francisco Minstrels moved 
into his house, then called the Metropolitan Theatre, a 
pretty little ground floor Auditorium similar in appear- 
ance to the Bijou Theatre of to-day. 

Bryant, when he left the house in East i4th Street 
moved into his own specially built theatre on West 2$d 
Street, afterward Koster and Bial's. Bryant was not only 
a Minstrel but an excellent Irish comedian and often 
playgoers of 1868 to 1874 were privileged to witness his 
artistic delineation of the leading roles in "Shaun the 
Post," "Arrah Na Pogue" and "The Colleen Bawn."* 

*Neil Bryant, a brother of Dan, succeeded the latter, and he 
was a factor in the 233 Street house during its entire regime. 

of egjiisic attD tfte Drama 313 

Minstrelsy did not seem to thrive on West 23d Street 
and though Bryant amassed a great fortune in that field, 
as did also Birch, Wambold, Bernard and Backus, he was 
compelled, after a short period, to abandon the location. 
The theatre was leased to A. Durand, in 1880, and was 
called the 2$d Street Theatre. 

Durand brought over a company of French players 
from Paris, headed by the comedian Chamonin, yet, 
though the subscription was fairly large the results were 
not so encouraging as other efforts of a similar nature had 
previously been ; this was due to the quality of the com- 
pany, the standard being far from good. Durand met 
disaster at New Orleans where he had taken this organi- 
zation in the hope of recouping his losses in New York, 
but as an illustration of the man's vital honesty, it must be 
said that he returned to the employ of Maurice Grau, and 
out of a salary of $100 a week he conserved sufficient in 
two years to free himself from the debts incurred by the 

Durand was for more than thirty years the trusted 
treasurer of the Grau enterprises and his death in 1904 
was a great shock to the Impresario, and to all his asso- 
ciates in the Metropolitan Opera House, also to the 
habitues of the Opera who had known and esteemed him 
for his conscientious efforts to provide for their comfort. 

Writing of minstrelsy naturally leads one to the city of 
Philadelphia where at no time in the last half century has 
there been any interruption to the permanency of the 
stationary Minstrels at the nth Street Opera House, 
which was opened in 1857. Here Cancross and Dixey's 
Minstrels were a fixture. Frank Dumont who is still 
directing the fortunes of the famous little Hall, might 
issue a volume on its history. If minstrelsy has declined 
it is but natural, for where we have gained a Lew Dock- 
stader, and a George Evans, we have lost such dear old 

314 Jfortp gears ffl>&0ertmtion 

entertainers, as Nelse Seymour, Unsworth and Eugene, 
Luke Schoolcraft, Billy Emmett, Billy Emerson and 
Master Barney. Dave Reed sang "Sally Come Up" forty 
years ago, just as I heard him not a year ago, and Luke 
Schoolcraft's "Shoo fly, Don't Bother Me" was one of the 
never to be forgotten features of old time minstrelsy.* 

German dialect comedians of long ago were many and 
their efforts found appreciation too. Joe Emmett, per- 
haps, made the most money, but there were others who 
were as much entitled to the public esteem, among them 
George S. Knight, who died of a broken heart, because 
his audiences, in his later years, would not accept him in 
serious roles. Thus it would seem that the struggle of 
comedians of the past to emanate from their Buffoonery 
fame to the dignity of tragic muse was far greater and 
more difficult than the David Warfields and Louis Manns 
have found it a quarter of a century later. 

Charles W. Couldock who was the original Dunstan 
Kirke in "Hazel Kirke" and who lived to an age in excess 
of four score years, had one distinction more notable than 
any of his many others, that at the age of eighty he could 
study a new role and retain the lines as rapidly as any 
of the youthful actors with whom he was associated. 
This trait was also possessed by the venerable J. H. 
Stoddart, an actor, very similar to Couldock in every re- 
spect and who, in "The Bonnie Briar Bush," gave a por- 
trayal of character, fit to rank among a dozen of the 
greatest achievements of players in the last half century. 

Mrs. Maria Wilkins, although at all times one of the 
most artistic players of the contemporaneous stage, gave 
one delineation of character acting that has rarely been 

*The Eleventh Street Opera House has been at last abandoned 
and is now relegated to Moving Pictures. 

of Q&mit anD t&e Drama 315 

equalled and never surpassed, La Mere Frochard in "The 
Two Orphans" at Shook and Palmer's Union Square 
Theatre, thirty years ago. No interpretation of the 
villainous and brutal woman ever approached this master- 
piece. It is no discredit to the excellent and unique per- 
formance given by Elita Proctor Otis at the play's all 
star revival at the New Amsterdam Theatre, a few years 
ago, to state that Mrs. Wilkins' performance left a more 
deep impression and thrilled her auditors with horror, 
such as no actress of modern times could hope to dupli- 

McKee Rankin had a long and varied stage career 
before Joaquin Miller's play, "The Danites" brought to 
him great fame and much financial comfort. Mrs. Rankin, 
who was Kitty Blanchard, and who was an artistic 
Henrietta in "The Two Orphans" shared with her hus- 
band in the notable triumph which "The Poet of the 
Sierras," achieved with this work. What a career McKee 
Rankin has had ! What a volume could be written around 
this player's life alone! In recent years he has devoted 
himself to the worthy cause of Nance O'Neill, an actress 
whom New York for some strange, unexplainable reason 
has not welcomed with that alacrity which has always 
made welcome for her in other important cities, Boston 
and San Francisco in particular. Nevertheless, the tall 
and "gracefully awkward" Yankee girl has in her that 
persistent and persevering quality which made Mary 
Anderson and Julia Marlowe command success where 
failure seemed at first imminent. 

Fanny Janauschek came to America almost imme- 
diately after Adelaide Ristori and appeared first in 
German at the Stadt Theatre on the Bowery and her 
appearances were hailed by her own country folk, with 
great acclaim; still, despite the fact that she unquestion- 

316 Jfottp gears 2D60ettraticm 

ably was the greatest German actress of all time she did 
not create the furore or obtain the financial reward which 
her illustrious Italian sister commanded. 

Augustin Daly with that rare perception which charac- 
terized all his undertakings, effected an agreement with 
the distinguished German tragedienne who in an incred- 
ible space of time mastered the English language and 
under Daly's direction, opened at the Academy of Music 
in 1874, appearing in such masterworks as "Medea," 
"Mary Stuart," "Elizabeth," "Deborah" and, later on as 
"Meg Merrilles" in which Charlotte Cushman achieved 
her greatest triumph. While artistic success was of 
course to be reckoned upon, the Academy of Music was 
not the place for a distinctly dramatic engagement at that 
period, and Daly did not meet with a financial reward; 
nor can it be said that at any time in the long and indus- 
trious career of this truly great artiste did she meet with 
the public favor that was commensurate with her artistic 
gifts. Janauschek's husband was a Mr. Pillot, a man of 
great pride and exclusive demeanor, whose constant dread 
was that he might be regarded as a stage husband (a 
"Mr. Janauschek" as he once put it), and it was worth 
one's life to introduce him as "The Husband of Mme. 

"I am more than her husband," he would often say, 
"she is my wife Mrs. Pillot." 

In truth it should be said, that although Pillot was not 
rich, he had an income of less than $100 a week, he made 
it a rule not to permit his wife to touch a penny of her 
earnings for her personal requirements, and the two were 
wont to live on the income which Pillot provided. 

Alas! there came a day when Pillot was no more, and 
from this day dated the vicissitudes of Fanny Janau- 
schek's later career. It would be better to draw a veil 
over the sufferings of her last years. It need only be here 

of S^tm'c ana tfte Drama sir 

stated that Fanny Janauschek, one of the world's three 
greatest actresses, which also included Ristori and 
Rachel, went to her grave comparatively neglected and 
forgotten by a profession, famous for its deeds of chivalry 
and charity. Her treasures and effects, no queen could 
boast of their equivalent, were the means by which this 
tragedy queen subsisted in the last years of her life. Fred 
Pillot, well it is, that you departed this life before the 
illustrious wife you left helpless and unprotected, reached 
her bitter end ! 

It is with pleasure that the subject is changed "The 
player is well bestowed," is true indeed, and if but a 
tithe of prudence were practised it would not be necessary 
for the Actors' Fund, the greatest and most ennobling 
charity the world has ever known, to bury the majority 
of our country's players; such is the case, and there is 
no indication that there is the slightest likelihood of a 
change in conditions. 

Before the great Chicago fire of 1871, the city of Chi- 
cago, then about the size of the present city of Newark, 
N. J., had not only its notable playhouses, but these were 
directed by managers of the most superb type and dis- 
tinction; and it is no reflection upon the march of pro- 
gress if one rises to ask: "Where have we to-day such 
showmen as J. H. MacVicker, Richard M. Hooley and 
Charles Crosby?" Dear old "Uncle Dick," just before 
the fire, was managing Bryan Hall, where the Grand 
Opera House now stands, on Clark Street (No. 89). He 
had previously had his little theatre in Brooklyn in Court 
Square and his Minstrel Co. was, even in those days, 
a standard bearer that carried his prestige over the 
breadth of the land. 

Hooley really was a grand character; to have known 
him, was to have loved him and it would be far easier to 

318 JFortp gears 2D&0ertmtton 

enumerate the brethren of his managerial days that he 
did not help than those that he did. 

Crosby's opera house was but a few doors away, and 
McVicker's not far from either. These three theatres of 
the early yo's were as beautiful and elaborate as any in 
Chicago to-day and surely they were as well managed. 
A couple of blocks further away was the Dearborn 
Theatre and, for concert, Farewell Hall sufficed. 

Then came the fire which swept away all. Hooley, 
however, opened the first Hooley's Theatre on August 
21, 1871, with a model stock company; this is the theatre 
he continued to preside over until his death, the Powers 
Theatre of to-day. 

I am sure that Harry Powers will not censure me for 
recording that the first time I saw him at Hooley's he 
was officiating as usher. Then he became assistant 
treasurer, then treasurer, then manager and, at last, 
Uncle Dick's successor, a position he holds to-day with 
much success. It will probably serve to name seven of 
the members of that stock company at Hooley's in 1871. 
Augusta Dargon, Frank E. Aiken, M. C. Daly, J. C. 
Padgett, Fanny Bent, Lizzie Osborhe and Frank Lawlor 
are recalled; "The Hunchback" was the opening play. 

At Crosby's Opera House "The Twelve Temptations" 
had a very successful run, about this period, but the 
production was not to be compared with the one James 
Fisk, Jr., made at the Grand Opera House in New York. 

Playgoers of 1909 would linger a little about the his- 
toric interior of this Eighth Avenue playhouse if they 
could conjure up recollections of some of the fabulous 
productions which Fisk and his lieutenants made here in 
the flag days of the Gay Colonel. "The Tempest" ran for 
months. Sardou's "La Patrie" also had a magnificent 
presentation and who will forget the days of Tostee, Silly, 
Montaland and Marie Aimee, that French Hogarth in 

of 00u0ic anD tfie Drama 319 

petticoats whom Paris never could esteem, but whose 
career in America was one grand series of triumphs. 
Poor Aimee! she died of cancer of the stomach, and sad 
it is to say that despite her wonderful popularity, her 
funeral which took place in France, was followed by but 
one carriage, with but three mourners, one of whom was 
her all-time manager, the late Maurice Grau. 

320 JFortp gears a>60ertmtion 


It has always been maintained that prodigies rarely 
realize the promises of infancy and youth. There have 
been, however, exceptions to the rule, the most conspicu- 
ous of these, of course, being Josef Hofmann, who came 
here as a child fifteen years ago and created a positive 
furore at the Metropolitan Opera House. Abbey and 
Grau had secured the Polish phenomenon in Europe even 
before his London triumph, and the remuneration he was 
to receive was indeed insignificant compared with the tre- 
mendous results financially. It was, however, to the 
credit of Abbey and Grau that they did not wait to be ap- 
proached by the parents of the infant wonder, but at the 
outset rewarded them with a new contract which in- 
creased the honorarium more than four hundred per cent. 
Yet for all that the era of great prosperity for the mana- 
gerial firm was of short duration, for in the midst of his 
astonishing triumph, when the vast opera house was sold 
out at each concert before the doors were opened, he was 
withdrawn from all public presentation and sent abroad 
by reason of a large subscription provided by wealthy 
Americans who had, of course, no other incentive than 
public spirit. This was indeed very much to be approved 
from one point of view, but was it just to Abbey and 
Grau, who had just met a serious disaster in the utter 
break-down of Etelka Gerster, who had come for a 
lengthy tour, and who upon the night of her reappearance 
in the same opera house provided one of the saddest spec- 

of Q0u0tc anD tfje Drama 321 

tacles that the writer has ever been called upon to wit- 
ness? Still Abbey and Grau were compelled to assume 
a penalty with all the artists they had engaged to ac- 
company the Hungarian singer on this tour, and were 
even sued by managers of opera houses throughout the 
country for their failure to fulfil the contracts with them 
for this singer's appearance. 

It was quite the same with Mary Anderson when that 
illustrious artiste was compelled, in the height of her ar- 
tistic career, to abandon her engagements and retire, as 
it turned out, for all time from the stage. Henry E. Ab- 
bey was making a profit of several thousands weekly 
from "our Mary's" appearances, and his contract with 
her had a value of several hundred thousand dollars ; yet, 
as an illustration of the type of manager that he was, he 
never even protested. He may have plaintively appealed 
for Miss Anderson's return to the stage, but there is no 
record that he ever attempted anything in the way of 
legal proceedings to indemnify him for the loss of his 
valuable asset. 

Another prodigy who has survived her wonder days 
is Corinne. She was the adopted daughter of Jenny Kim- 
ball, the best serio-comic singer that the variety stage 
possessed thirty-five years ago. Corinne first attracted 
notice when she appeared as Little Buttercup in "Pina- 
fore" and it is fair to state that her rendition of that role 
required no apology for her lack of years; it was a 
wholly artistic effort in every way. Corinne was so far 
superior to all other child prodigies that she headed for 
several years, at least ten, an organization managed by 
Jenny Kimball and H. R. Jacobs. Great results artistic- 
ally and financially were obtained thereby, and the long 
life of the company was only interrupted by the death of 
Mrs. Kimball. 

In this company Frank Hayden distinguished him- 

322 JFortp gears 2D&0o;tmtioti 

self. He was so very tall, and little Corinne so small 
that the contrast was a desirable one; but Hayden had 
a superb voice also. He was a veritable major domo and 
could be relied upon to appear in any role. I am not sure 
he did not assume Corinne's roles when she was ill; he 
certainly would have been able to do so. He was also 
prolific as a costumer and at this time he has a large 
emporium in the city where operatic artists are wont to 
go for their costumes; managers also. 

Corinne presented a varied repertoire as her tours ac- 
cumulated, and a production of a musical comedy en- 
titled "Arcadia" met with such a response from the pub- 
lic that it afterward became the distinguishing feature 
of the Corinne Company and its tours. Mrs. Kimball was 
married to a piano dealer named Flaherty, who, as a rule, 
remained in Boston, where his interests were, but he was 
nevertheless a factor in the success which this really re- 
markable body of players and singers met with. After 
the death of Mrs. Kimball, Corinne, who had reached the 
age of about seventeen, entered the vaudeville field and 
for several years commanded a large salary as well as 
much approval. She has at no time been without the 
prestige which would bring her engagements, and all in 
all she is the most striking illustration of the survival of 
a prodigy now in evidence. Corinne is at this time a star 
in a musical concoction entitled "Lola from Berlin." 

Wallace Eddinger is another of the rare type of 
child prodigy who survived his wonder days. His father, 
Lawrence Eddinger, was a player of distinction whose 
association with the best organizations for over twenty 
years has often been recorded. Little "Wally" played so 
many important roles as a child, creating the most of 
them too, that it is not requisite to name all of his ef- 
forts in that direction. His Little Lord Fauntleroy was 
compared more than favorably with that of Elsie Leslie, 

of 9@u0ic an& tfie Drama 323 

who created the most potent infant role of all time. The 
progress of "Wally" to Wallace has been accompanied 
by just such achievements as would be expected of a son 
of an old-school actor like Lawrence Eddinger. At pres- 
ent, in the full bloom of manhood, with a grand future 
all before him, this rara avis among prodigies of the past, 
is playing the role of Howard Jeffries, Jr., in "The Third 
Degree," by Charles Klein, at the Hudson Theatre ; and 
his performance has merited much praise. 

The New York Herald has always been an important 
factor in its relations with Music and the Drama. Dur- 
ing all of the 6os and a part of the 705 it was practically 
the only medium for theatrical advertising. Its amuse- 
ment columns in those days were in strange contrast 
with those of the other dailies and the managers and im- 
presarios were wont to insert as much in the Herald as 
in all the others combined. The rates for this adver- 
tising at no time were less than now. If there has been 
an increase it may at most have been five cents a line 
more at this time. However, there came in this dec- 
ade a serious friction between the managers and the Her- 
ald's proprietor, the father of the present owner, James 
Gordon Bennett, Sr. In one respect the trouble resem- 
bled the one now so widely discussed between the vast 
array of amusement interests and the Morning Press of 
this city. A large majority of the theatres withdrew their 
patronage from the Herald and in all the other news- 
papers they inserted large announcements to the effect 
that : "This establishment does not advertise in the New 
York Herald." The leader of the opposition was Max 
Maretzek, the impresario. 

In this difficulty with the elder Bennett, Jacob Grau 
was a factor both at the outset and in the final peace, 
which did not come for a long time, the intervening 
period being made use of by both factions to the utmost. 

324: JFottg gears 2D&0ertoatton 

The excitement was intense, the public having taken un- 
usual interest in the quarrel, the tendency being to side 
with the managers. The final outcome was hastened by 
the self-evident loss to the Herald, for it must be stated 
that in those days the Herald was at most a ten-page 
issue and very little advertising outside of the amuse- 
ment columns prevailed. Maretzek, so it was rumored, 
had to offer apologies to the Herald before the latter 
would again print his advertising. 

When the Soldene company was playing at the French 
theatre in 1874, New York was a maelstrom of political 
corruption; it was the hey-day of the "boodler," and 
William M. Tweed's escapades were the talk of the town. 
It will be recalled that he escaped from the Tombs, and 
the Herald perpetrated what was considered the most 
ghastly joke that has ever been indulged in by a news- 
paper in the world's history. One morning the entire 
first page and part of the second, in the news section, 
were devoted to a sensational article with headlines, as 
I recall them, similar to the following : 



RHINOCEROS (Inference was of course Tweed) 



Although the article was written to cover a space of 
about eight columns, its composition was such that not 
until one read the last three or four lines would it be 
possible to detect that a joke had been perpetrated, or 
rather attempted. At the end of the narration the fol- 
lowing paragraph was inconspicuously inserted, to be 

of Su0tc anD tfte Drama 325 

understood by the few who had sufficient receptiveness 
to comprehend it: 

"The catastrophe above related did not actually take 
place, but its recital here will give some idea as to what 
would be the effect if such or a similar calamity were to 

As is above stated the Soldene troupe were at this time 
appearing at the Lyceum Theatre on West i4th street, in 
Offenbach's "Genevieve de Brabant," and in the famous 
gendarmes duet, which was the most popular gem of that 
work, the two comedians interpolated verses about the 
"Herald's little joke on the public." The uproar which 
these topical hits created was really the incentive that 
caused the inauguration of the era of topical songs, a situ- 
ation that was quickly grasped by the then leading writer 
of travesties and burlesques, Sydney Rosenfeld, who 
evolved the most delicious satirical "take-offs" on the 
Daly productions which then prevailed. One in particu- 
lar on "Pique," in which Fanny Davenport was bur- 
lesqued by a comedian named Harry Josephs in 1876, 
was absolutely the most laughable and yet artistic effort 
in the line of true travesty which the writer can recall. 
Author's Note. 

On the morning in which the announcement appeared, 
New York City was in a state of turmoil. The wildest 
excitement prevailed. The streets were deserted; the 
few to be found out doors at all were either those who 
were familiar with the character of the recital or else they 
had read all of the article, including the few lines of con- 
tradiction at its close. Ninety-five per cent of New York's 
population were terror stricken and it was nightfall be- 
fore the truth began to spread about, when, instead of 
laughter, as was expected, great indignation prevailed 
and it was a long time before the affair quieted down. 

Fanny Rice who was reported to be married on the 

326 Jfottp gears fl)60ettoatton 

day these lines are written, has been on the stage for over 
a quarter of a century. She began at the bottom, too, 
and passed through about as varied a stage experience as 
any artist has yet been credited with. It was in the 
opera of "Nadgy" that she scored her greatest success, 
at the Casino in this city. To name all of Fanny Rice's 
successes would be to relate the history of the Casino, 
and the writer regrets that the lack of space alone pre- 
vents this pleasant duty from being fully performed. 
Miss Rice toured the country from one end to the other, 
for many years, at the head of her own company in a 
musical comedy entitled "A Jolly Surprise," under the 
management of her first husband, Dr. Purdy, a man of 
much business ability, and who was much esteemed by 
his confreres in the theatrical world. In this comedy the 
versatile Fanny evolved a specialty with dolls, which was 
so generally amusing and so wholly artistic that it served 
her for a full decade in vaudeville, where she was ever a 
favorite, being one of the few artists to make the vaude- 
ville plunge who were peculiarly fitted for that field. 

Helen Bertram, who is at this time appearing in the 
vaudeville theatres and who was recently reported to 
have expressed her decision to retire permanently from 
the field she has so long graced with credit, has had one 
of those varied and extensive careers, which are recorded 
rarely. In grand opera Miss Bertram was conspicuous 
in the organizations of Strakosch, C. D. Hess and Emma 
Abbott; she has also headed her own company in this 
field. In light opera no artist, past or present, has had 
a more enviable record, and it would be impossible to 
mention all of the many roles she created in the days of 
Colonel McCaull and Rudolph Aronson. Her person- 
ality predominated wherever she was wont to shine, and 
let it be recorded that more than once has Helen Ber- 
tram appeared with distinction on the dramatic stage. 

of S@u0tc anD tfie Drama 327 

Only a few years ago she appeared in the city of St. 
Louis (where she is one of the greatest favorites always) 
at the Suburban Gardens in a repertoire of the highest 
type of distinctly dramatic works, and here she was ac- 
corded by far the largest honorarium that she has ever 
been paid in her entire career. Miss Bertram has been 
thrice married; her first husband was Signer Tomasi, a 
conductor of renown who was prominent in the days 
of "Honest little Emma" Abbott. 

The writer recalls Tomasi's enthusiasm over his prima 
donna wife of those days, and the separation of the two is 
one of those inexplicable mysteries which a historian is 
not called upon to unravel. Miss Bertram became the 
wife of that intense actor, E. J. Henley, in the late 8os, 
and undoubtedly it was the influence of Henley and Miss 
Bertram's third husband, E. J. Morgan, whom she mar- 
ried some time after Henley's death, that caused this 
operatic artist to become so prolific in distinct dramatic 

There was much that was coincidental in Miss Ber- 
tram's marriage to her two actor husbands. Henley and 
Morgan not only resembled each other greatly, but they 
were of similar artistic mould, both being intensely dra- 
matic; their temperaments were uncommonly similar, 
even to the extent of possessing similar habits. 

There is no duty that the writer has to perform which 
is so pleasant as the task of recalling some of the artists 
of grand opera whose names are on the verge of becom- 
ing obsolete. Eugenie Pappenheim is rarely heard of 
nowadays, and yet her vogue was not so far back. 
Throughout the 8os Madame Pappenheim was in her 
zenith, and at all periods of her remarkable artistic career 
she was one of the most imposing figures in the history 
of grand opera. Although she sang principally in Ger- 
man opera and gave to that precarious field much of its 

JFortp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

needed stability, still in Italian opera she was just as 
potent and the Academy of Music has been the scene of 
her greatest triumphs. Her Leonora in "Trovatore" has 
never been surpassed. 

The vogue of Papper'ieim preceded that of Lili Leh- 
mann and was similar in scope and achievement. To 
mention, in passing, that the students of a certain con- 
servatory in this city enjoy the benefits derived from her 
finished technique and exquisite art, is equivalent to the 
statement that it is unnecessary for our aspiring singers 
to journey abroad for artistic tuition. Certainly with 
such superb exponents of the vocal art as Emma 
Thursby, Eugenie Pappenheim and Signer Carbone in 
our own midst and with the erection of new opera houses 
in the medium sized cities almost a certainty in the next 
five years, there will no longer be the incentive for our 
ambitious singers to undergo the hardships and expense 
of a sojourn in Europe in order to accomplish their de- 
sired object. 

A word about the advantages all classes of endeavorers 
in the field of music and the drama to-day possess, would 
not be seemingly amiss. Even Oscar Hammerstein, 
great though his achievements have been, must confess 
that he is laboring in more propitious times and under 
conditions much more favorable to him than those which 
surrounded his predecessors like Abbey, Mapleson, Stra- 
kosch and Grau. Salaries of $1,000 a week for stage 
workers are now so common that they can be credited 
to hundreds of players. In vaudeville, salaries of from 
$500 to $3,000 a week are in the majority, and it is pos- 
sible for engagements to cover fifty-two weeks in the 
year, in the best theatres of this class. No matter what 
may be said or threatened, these figures keep on increas- 
ing, whether there be competition or not. The oft heard 
statement that one hears, to the effect that if William 

of 99u0ic ana tfte Drama 329 

Morris were defeated in his present competition with the 
vaudeville "syndicate" salaries would at once go tobog- 
ganing, is a fallacy. There will always be competition, 
though the era of decline for vaudeville is always possible 
but not probable. Even if competition were thwarted for a 
time, and even if the much dreaded catastrophe of Will- 
iam Morris' advent in the "syndicate" ranks should oc- 
cur, there would still be competition of the most vigorous 
kind, and that, too, among the managers affiliated with 
the very syndicate. There have always been and always 
will be internal dissensions in these affiliated groups of 
business men, and jealousies are brought about by the 
priority which one manager obtains over another in the 
allotment of "headliners" and great attractions; and for 
this very reason the writer wishes to qualify his state- 
ment in regard to the so-called theatrical syndicate of 
which Messrs. Klaw, Erlanger and Hayman are the head, 
in that, while as has been stated, there has not up to this 
time been a single break in their ranks, nevertheless, re* 
cent developments would indicate that an upheaval is al- 
ways possible. The recent accession of three theatres to 
the already notable local possessions of the Messrs. Shu- 
bert, together with the known ambitions of these young 
and truly marvelous amusement providers, and the added 
fact that in a single conference and almost with the 
stroke of a pen, they were enabled, recently ^ to bring a 
chain of Western and Pacific Coast theatres of the 
smaller class into their fold for booking purposes, 
render it quite hazardous to prophesy as to the future 
relations between the present business institutions of 
the theatre in America. But it will be safe to assume 
that as long as Abraham Lincoln Erlanger has his health 
and has the disposition to maintain the unique structure 
which he has built up in the last twenty-five years, just 
so long will he be the commanding figure in the the- 

330 JFortp gears 2D&0er*mtton 

atrical world, and the firm of Klaw and Erlanger, of 
which Mr. Klaw, reticent though he may be, is an equal 
factor, will survive and expand. 

It is the known qualities of Mr. Erlanger which 
bring this statement from the writer. He has more than 
once shown what a general he is; no crisis ever came 
that he was not equal to. Though he has enemies galore 
and is naturally of a combative temperament, it is his 
innate honesty and supreme loyalty that has always 
gained for him the endorsement and support of his many 
associates. It is when Erlanger is silent that the worst 
can be expected, and, as I heard one of his arch enemies 
express it but a few days ago, "He doesn't know when 
he is beaten. His very silence is evidence that he is up 
and doing.'* 

Miss Billie Burke, who is now a star of the first 
magnitude under the Frohman banner, has the unique 
distinction of having been discovered in London, where 
she found great favor before she was known to fame in 
her own country. Her previous experience in this coun- 
try was not of an important nature, and her rise has been 
so meteoric, and of so recent a date, that there is nothing 
to record here save the very fact itself. 

Robert Edeson, whom Henry B. Harris has achieved 
so much success with, is a son of the late George R. Ede- 
son, a player and stage director of renown in the period 
from 1870 to 1890. He was the power behind the throne 
with the late Colonel William E. Sinn, and had charge of 
the artistic department of all that manager's enterprises 
during the greater part of his career. 

Edeson, Sr., was a comedian of great subtilty, and 
any role that he would assume was given an artistic touch 
that amounted to positive creation in the full meaning of 
the word. In Brooklyn he was so great an attraction 


of Sii0ic attO tfie Drama 331 

that any play with which his name was identified was 
sure of success. 

The son, Robert, is hardly of the same artistic 
mould and his efforts are in a different field, but the Ede- 
son qualities stand out in all of the representations in 
which the writer has been privileged to observe the 
younger actor. 

When Julia Marlowe scored her great triumph in 
"When Knighthood Was in Flower," the play itself was 
so much of a factor that at least two other stars pre- 
sented it in various parts of the country. One of these, 
Miss Grace Merritt, has scored so well in the role which 
Miss Marlowe created, that it has served as an inclusive 
vehicle for her starring tours for more than five years. 
This is a fine record for a strictly legitimate play and 
could only be achieved by an actress with strongly 
marked characteristics; that Miss Merrit possesses these 
to an unusual degree is not to be questioned. Her tours 
are constantly growing in the measure of financial re- 
ward, while each season the class of theatres and the 
territory allotted to her have been more important than 
the one preceding, until at the present time she is ap- 
pearing in the very highest type of theatres in the largest 
cities of this country. This is indeed an achievement, 
and it cannot be long before this artiste finds vogue in 
the metropolis. 

Fred Niblo, now one of the several who, with profit, 
combine lectures with illustrations in what are more fa- 
miliarly known as travelogues, has a personality entirely 
out of the ordinary ; whatever he may undertake, is quite 
likely to be successful. Here we have a man for whom 
the word "persistency" might have been coined; he has 
been, in the last fifteen years, everything from a strug- 
gling time killer to a manager of vast importance. His 

332 JFottp gears Observation 

rise, however, is wholly due to energy, and to an unques- 
tionable possession of ability in almost any direction. 
He began in the early years of the present era of modern 
vaudeville. He started out with a clean monologue 
which was good without being great, for he received at 
the outset perhaps $50 a week, but he never was with- 
out bookings and thereby hangs a tale. 

Niblo was a born advertiser, and when, in his strug- 
gling days, he began writing to the agents and managers 
for bookings, he was determined to obtain a response. 
He would send, first, a postal card, then a letter, and 
then he would increase the size of his envelopes until 
they were so large as to attract widespread attention; 
still he did not seem to obtain the proper response. Fi- 
nally, perhaps in desperation, he sent his application to 
managers and agents written on his collars with the post- 
age inserted, and on these he had a P. S. as follows : "If 
this does not bring me time, I will write on my cuffs 
next." Still no bookings for Niblo, at least not the kind he 
wanted. After a few days every booking office in New 
York received another application written on his cuffs, 
also containing a P. S. : "If this does not get me the time 
I want, I'll write on my shirt next." It was not neces- 
sary for Fred to go to that extreme. The threat was 
enough ; ever after he was a leading figure in vaudeville 
and his rise has been constant. By no means, have all 
this man's ambitions been realized. He has been all 
over the world and is constantly conjuring up new ideas. 
His future will bear watching. He is but a boy even 
now. It is from such stock as Fred Niblo that another 
generation will look to for its new sensations. The 
writer has not met him a half dozen times in all and 
perhaps has passed fifty words with him in his life, but 
such observations as those here related are invincible. 

Frank Bush also was wont to use extreme methods 

of Su0ic and tfje Drama 333 

to impress the booking agents, and to keep their atten- 
tion in his direction. Occasionally he would return from 
a sojourn at the fisheries, a pastime for which he had 
much inclination, and would make a visit to the princi- 
pal booking offices where he would relate his good for- 
tune and the prodigious size and weight of his catches. 
This would naturally be followed by a request from the 
booking agent for a small portion of the comedian's cap- 
tures. Bush would then hie himself to a fish market and 
purchase the largest specimens of fish obtainable and 
these he would send by messenger to the man whose in- 
fluence he sought. 

Otis Harlan reached the zenith of his career in the life- 
time of Charles Hoyt and it was in the delicious satires 
that Hoyt evolved that Harlan was at his best. His 
greatest success was achieved in "A Stranger in New 
York," which had a long run at what is now the Garrick 
Theatre. This was undoubtedly the best of the Hoytian 
efforts and in the role of the Stranger, Harlan was so 
excruciatingly funny and his make-up, simple though it 
was, so wholly absurd that the piece had a phenomenal 
run, extending into the hot period without any diminish- 
ing results at the box office. 

Thirty years ago the mere suggestion that a comic 
opera or even a musical comedy was to be produced by 
native composers and librettists, would have excited ridi- 
cule. The remote actual productions in this line were 
failures, though "The Little Tycoon" and "Evangeline" 
for special reasons did survive but it was not thought 
possible, in that period, that men like Harry B. Smith 
and Reginald de Koven would become factors in their 
sphere; as effectively, too, as Offenbach and Gilbert and 
Sullivan did before them. The works of Smith and 
De Koven both collectively and when they individually 
were affiliated with others, have been invariably great 

334 JFottp gears 2D&sertmttott 

triumphs; "Robin Hood" was a far more substantial suc- 
cess than "Pinafore." Its endurance, too, with the pub- 
lic, was greater. "Rob Roy," produced at the Herald 
Square Theatre, was also a signal triumph. This oper- 
etta was produced by Fred C. Whitney, who, after the 
death of Col. John A. McCaull, became the leading light- 
opera purveyor in this country. 

Raymond Hubbell, who has written the scores for 
many of the Messrs. Shuberts musical productions, came 
here from the West in 1903, wholly unknown. He 
chanced one day into the publishing house of Charles K. 
Harris, and began playing on the piano a number of the 
most melodious themes, the result of which was that he 
was sent up to the Shuberts' office with a letter of intro- 
duction that sealed his fate ; he has been associated with 
this firm ever since. The first score from his prolific pen 
was "The Runaways" and, in collaboration with the late 
S. S. Shubert, he wrote "Fantana," which had great 
vogue in 1905-06. 

John Stromberg, who provided the scores for nearly 
all of the Weber and Fields productions, was a veritable 
genius, and only his untimely death in 1906 brought his 
activity to an end. His successor at that house, Maurice 
Levi, was also a deft composer of light and entrancing 
melodies. Recently he has given more of his attention 
to the permanent orchestra which he has organized, and 
which is often heard in the city ; but he has by no means 
abandoned his efforts as a composer. 

Julian Edwards writes operas of a more classical char- 
acter, and has a list of successes to his credit that will 
compare most favorably with some of the European ce- 
lebrities who have obtained large royalties in all quar- 
ters of the globe. 

There is a young composer relegated to one of the bur- 
lesque companies his name is Sheppard Camp who 

of Su0ic anD tfie Drama 335 

will come out of his hiding one of these days. He cer- 
tainly does write the most delicious gems, and many of 
them, too, with so little effort. He will find his place, 
undoubtedly, with one of the great producing firms. 
There is always a field for genius, and one has only to 
listen to the compositions of young Camp to foresee his 

Bernard Macauley was born in New York City Sep- 
tember 16, 1837. 

He early became connected with the stage and at dif- 
ferent times was a member of various stock companies 
in the South and West, being leading man for such well- 
known stars as Matilda Heron, Laura Keene and Lucille 
Western; he also supported Booth, Jefferson and J. W. 
Wallack. His Armand Duval in "La Dame aux Came- 
lias," with Matilda Heron as Marguerite Gautier, was 
considered the best impersonation of the role that had 
till then been given. He originated the quaintly humor- 
our character of Uncle Dan'l in "A Messenger from 
Jarvis Section," a rural offering that to this day is util- 
ized by the many provincial stock companies which at 
this period are finding vogue. 

In 1873 he built Macauley's Theatre in Louisville, 
Ky., where he established a notable stock company, and 
which was the scene of Mary Anderson's debut. 

Macauley remained in harness until his death, which 
occurred in 1886. 

Charles R. Pope, a brother-in-law of Macauley's, was 
born February 17, 1829, in a little village near Weimar, 
Saxony; he was quite young when his father emigrated 
to this country. 

When about twenty, he joined a Rochester stock com- 
pany in which his efficiency was such as to attract at- 
tention, and soon the large cities were open to him. He 
has appeared all over the country, representing Shake- 

336 jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

spearian and standard roles, twice supporting Edwin For- 
rest. His Othello, in German, met with instant success 
in every town that could then boast of a German theatre. 

He was one of the foremost legitimate stars whose 
ability was universally recognized in the 703. 

He was associated with Ben de Bar, in management. 
He ultimately became interested in politics and was at 
one time United States consul at Toronto. 

Miss Grace Filkins, who is now playing an important 
role in Charles Klein's play "The Third Degree," began 
her dramatic career as a child actress. She was for sev- 
eral years a member of the famous Augustin Daly com- 
pany when it included such celebrities as Ada Rehan, 
John Drew, Virginia Dreher, James Lewis, and Mrs. 
Gilbert. Then followed a succession of brilliant engage- 
ments with Mme. Modjeska, Charles Coghlan, Rosina 
Vokes, and Otis Skinner. Miss Filkins also appeared 
as Sylvius in that remarkable performance of "As You 
Like It" produced by the Professional Woman's League 
some years ago. She has had the honor of being men- 
tioned in the memoirs of Miss Ellen Terry as giving one 
of the three great performances of the play, the other two 
being those of Mme. Janauschek and Miss Mary Shaw. 
Miss Filkins has been appearing for several years under 
the management of Mr. Henry B. Harris. 

Miss Clara Clemens, who is a daughter of the famous 
humorist and author, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), 
made her debut in Florence, Italy, in the month of April, 
1904. She sang there twice in public with much greater 
success than has been accorded her in America thus far. 
In New York her first appearance was in the Olive Mead 
quartette concert at Mendelssohn Hall, in February, 
1909. Miss Clemens, however, has sung throughout the 
United States in concert, but her metropolitan debut 

of Su0ic anD tfte Drama 337 

proper is yet to be effected. Her voice is a contralto of 
much depth and resonance. 

John Gourlay left the organization known as Sals- 
bury's Troubadours long before the end of its existence, 
and with Louis Harrison starred in a travesty entitled 
"Skipped by the Light of the Moon," which had a long 
period of prosperity. Gourlay was born and raised in 
Detroit and was a light comedian of excellent calibre. 
Louis Harrison's career covers a period of nearly thirty- 
five years. He was a distinguishing feature of the pro- 
ductions made by Edward E. Rice in the 8o's, and in 
"Horrors," "Revels" and "Hiawatha" he scored notably. 
He was also for a time at the famed Boston Museum, 
and his principal starring venture was in conjunction 
with his sister Alice Harrison in a musical play called 
"Photos," under the management of M. W. Hanley. Alice 
Harrison was a true burlesque actress and this is indeed 
a compliment, for burlesque, as understood in those days, 
was as difficult of representation as Shakespeare, or 
plays in blank verse, and few indeed of our present day 
favorites could hope to cope with the requirements of 
artists as the Harrisons were. Louis Harrison seems 
to have maintained an even status throughout his long 
career and he is seen in practically the same capacity at 
this time and with precisely the same results. 

Selina Dolaro, who created the principal role in "The 
Snake Charmer," the opera in which Lillian Russell 
made her debut on Broadway in 1884, at the Bijou The- 
atre, was first heard at the Academy of Music for a sin- 
gle performance in "Carmen" with Colonel Mapleson's 
opera company, and a great Carmen was she. But Se- 
lina was temperamental to a great degree, and she quar- 
relled with the doughty Colonel over a matter of cos- 
tume and her career as a grand opera star was cut short. 

338 JFottp geartf 2D&0ertmttott 

She scored her greatest success, however, in Offenbach's 
"La Fille du Tambour Major," which was presented by 
M. B. Leavitt on tour with a large organization and an 
eclipsing splendor of mise-en-scene. 

Lawrance D'Orsay was born Dorset Lawrance, but 
was nicknamed the "Little Count D'Orsay" by his 
schoolmates, which name he adopted when entering 
upon a professional career and which has become char- 
acteristic of the parts that have for so long been asso- 
ciated with him. 

He had a three-years' contract with Mr. Charles Froh- 
man to appear as the King in "A Royal Family" at the 
old Lyceum Theatre. This was one of the most delight- 
ful roles he ever played. 

Miss Annie Russell was the star, Charles Richman 
was the Prince, William H. Thompson was the Cardi- 
nal, and Mrs. Gilbert was the Queen Dowager. At the 
conclusion of the run of "A Royal Family," he was cast 
for a comparatively short role in "The Wilderness," and 
became a member of the Empire Theatre stock com- 
pany. Here his artistic performance of a distinctly Eng- 
lish role influenced Augustus Thomas to write "The Earl 
of Pawtucket," especially for Mr. D'Orsay. 

Edgar Smith, who has written the librettos of a great 
many lasting successes in comic opera and musical com- 
edy, was born in Brooklyn, New York, December 9, 1857. 

He was a member of Daly's company and, about 1885, 
became associated with "The Dickson Sketch Club." 

From 1886 to 1892 he was engaged as actor and libret- 
tist at the New York Casino and while there adapted 
"La Grande Duchesse," "The Brigand's Daughter," 
"Apollo," "Madelon," etc. During the same period he 
wrote and produced "You and I," "The Spider and the 
Fly," "The Grand Vizier," "The Merry World," "Miss 

of spu0ic anO tfte Drama 339 

Philadelphia," and adapted "The Girl from Paris," "Hotel 
Topsy-Turvey," "The French Maid," and "Monte Carlo." 

He wrote all the pieces put on at Weber and Field's 
Music Hall and at Weber's Theatre, during the period 
from 1896 to 1907. Other productions of his are "The 
Little Host," "Sweet Anne Page," and "Home, Sweet 
Home," "Mr. Hamlet of Broadway," and "The Merry 
Go-Round." His more recent adaptations are "The Girl 
Behind the Counter" and "Havana." 

He is a member of The Mystic Shrine, The Lambs, The 
Elks and The Authors' and Composers' Society. 

Travesties of a Travesty have always failed. In 1868, 
during the great run of "Genevieve de Brabant" at the 
Theatre Francais, a testimonial was tendered to Paul 
Juignet, then stage manager. The attraction was re- 
garded as an extraordinary one, inasmuch as the Offen- 
bach opera was cast with all the characters reversed, Car- 
rier the Tenor sang Genevieve and Rose Bell appeared 
as Drogan, the page; Mile. Desclausas was one of the 
gendarmes, while Gabel, the regular impersonator of the 
gendarme, appeared as what is to-day called a "Show 
Uirl." The house was soid out a week ahead and fabulous 
prices were paid for seats, but alas! the gloom of the 
evening was intense. The appearance of each of the 
principals would cause an outburst of laughter and ap- 
plause, but after this first reception the various artists 
proved tiresome, and the attempt was never repeated by 
Jacob Grau. 

Ten years later, Maurice Grau was tendered a benefit 
by his many friends at the Academy of Music, when an- 
other effort was made on lines very similar to that above 
narrated. On this occasion Grau, with a vivid recollec- 
tion of the disaster that had befallen "Genevieve," an- 
nounced that the first act only of Offenbach's "La Grande 
Duchesse" would be travestied. Marie Aimee was Fritz, 

340 JFortg gears 2D&0ertmtfon 

Mile. Minelli was General Bourn, Mezzieres, the best 
opera bouff e comedian of any time, was La Grande Duch- 
esse, while the inimitable Duplan attacked Wanda. Again 
the vast auditorium of the Academy was sold out at pre- 
mium prices, but the failure was not less emphatic than 
a decade before. In the last thirty years this method of 
travesty has been entirely abandoned. 

Frank Daniels, thirty years ago, was confining his 
activity to New England. He first became generally 
known in a musical company which was then called "The 
Jollities," and which produced an absurdity called "The 
Electric Doll." In this concoction Daniels displayed the 
same unique style which has always been his, though the 
many qualities which now seem so pronounced and con- 
structive to his success, then failed to avail him to the 
extent necessary for lasting success. Charles Atkinson, 
a Boston manager of experience, was long identified with 
Daniels. It was when the little stubby comedian entered 
the field of comic opera that he made his permanent and 
lasting success. Daniels was the star who first scored 
with the operas from Victor Herbert's pen, all of these 
have had lengthy runs. As a matter of fact, it is doubtful 
if Daniels ever appeared in other than Herbert's operas 
since he became a star. His early vehicle, "Puck," could 
hardly be classed as an opera. 

Emma Calve, in all the twenty years of her sustained 
fame, has undoubtedly found it possible to retain her 
potency with less study and with a more limited reper- 
toire than any grand opera star that can be here recalled. 
Her career has been based on two roles Carmen in 
Bizet's opera of that name and Santuzza in "Cavaleria 
Rusticana." Madame Calve has also sung in other operas 
in America, notably "La Navaraise," "The Pearl Fishers," 
"Hamlet" and "Mephistofole," but only in the first two 
has she been enabled to command the audiences which 

of fiu0ic anD tfte Drama 341 

would justify the large honorarium accorded her. In the 
last two of her operatic visits, the number of her appear- 
ances have been restricted by Mr. Hammerstein in line 
with this limited repertory. No impresario of the last 
fifty years has used better judgment in measuring the 
length of time that a celebrity may attract with a limited 
repertory. This has been clearly shown in the short 
term also allotted to Madame Nellie Melba at each of her 
three "guest" engagements at the Thirty-fourth Street 
opera house. It is the concert field that is mainly re- 
sponsible for these conditions, for as long as it is possible 
for singers to earn double in concert, they are not likely 
to feel inclined to the extra exertion which is associated 
with the creation of new roles. For this very reason the 
forthcoming season is likely to unfold new conditions in 
the field of opera. Four opera houses, if not five, will, be- 
fore the close of the present year, present Grand Opera in 
this metropolis in its highest form; and there is every 
indication that in at least two of these, more likely in 
three, French opera comique and opera bouffe will pre- 
dominate. This is indeed a welcome programme, and if 
carried out faithfully will revolutionize the prevailing 
taste for meaningless musical comedy. Let it not be 
forgotten that in the New York of forty years ago, with 
a population one-fifth of what it is now, an opera bouffe 
like "La Grande Duchesse" would run upwards of one 
hundred nights, and "Genevieve de Brabant," sung in 
French, ran one hundred and fifty nights to enormous 

Old-timers will recall the first visit of De Kolta. He 
was the most dexterious at strictly sleight of hand 
manipulation of any of the magicians of long ago. He 
was favorably received in Paris. Here he frequently 
came to the Eden Musee, and on his first visit to that 

342 JFortp gears 2Db0erfcation 

establishment was second only in drawing power to the 
sinuous Otero. 

Powell was another of the strictly sleight of hand type, 
and he, too, was wont to appear at the Eden Musee. 

It will be recalled that Henry E. Dixey, more than a 
decade ago, came forward at the Garden Theatre as a 
prestidigitateur, and with considerable success, though 
he did not long continue in this field. He appeared in 
his Adonis costume, presenting a very striking appear- 
ance. One of the most interesting features of his per- 
formance was the turning of the stage into a dressing- 
room and the audience was permitted to observe the 
comedian in the process of making up for his portrayal 
of Henry Irving, and a startlingly true likeness it was. 

Thirty-three years ago Harry Lee, who has been asso- 
ciated with Klaw and Erlanger ever since they first start- 
ed in as booking agents, was travelling through Canada 
with Prof. McAllister, a magician, who was the pioneer 
of the Gift Enterprise type. McAllister was a firm be- 
liever in the principle that Phineas T. Barnum knew 
whereof he spoke when he said : "The public likes to be 

McAllister must also have been wealthy, for he con- 
ceived more plans to deplete the public purse without 
giving any return than anyone I can conjure up recol- 
lections of. 

Early in the year 1867, an avant courier swept into 
Louisville, Ky., and secured a lease of the Mercantile 
Library Hall, then the only place of amusement in that 
city, for a single evening. This agent at once placed, all 
over the city and in the suburbs of Louisville, large 
posters, on which was printed: 


of 6@u0tc anD tbe Drama 343 

Not another word of announcement was made, and after 
a few days, when excitement began to run high, these 
bills were replaced by others, reading : 


Two days later the excitement was intense. However, 
on the afternoon of the second day, the posters were 
again replaced by ones reading : 


About 7 p. m., on this particular evening, a young man 
took possession of the box-office in Library Hall, and 
soon a crowd began to gather, by seven-thirty the streets 
were blockaded, and at a few minutes before eight, it 
was impossible to squeeze another person into Library 
Hall. The paste boards sold for fifty cents each, and 
the audience contained an even division of the sexes and 
in an exceedingly anticipatory mood; at a quarter after 
eight the curtain rose. On the stage a beautifully painted 
canvas covered the entire breadth of the space inside the 
proscenium arch, this canvas was at least eight feet 
high and twenty feet wide, and the painting was in sev- 
eral colors, each letter being ornamented artistically. The 
sign read : 


That consternation was the result of this display need 
not be here told. It was however found that no crime 
had been committed, no promise had been made. 

Robert Heller, with his sister Haidee, had his own 
theatre for magical entertainments as long as he lived. 
He took the little Brougham Theatre, the site of which 

344 Jfortp gears SD&0erfcation 

afterwards was the Madison Square Theatre. Later he 
went to Broadway and Waverly Place and opened Hel- 
ler's Wonder Theatre at what was the Globe Theatre, 
730 Broadway, where the Werrell Sisters had a long 
vogue. Here he decided to attract the public by strenu- 
ous advertising, so he placed all over the city and for 
twenty-five miles outside the city, large posters which 
read as follows: 


GO TO HELL Wonder 

The announcements were conspicuous and telling 
Heller drew great crowds even to the downtown resort. 
He was of the type of real showmen who, a generation 
ago, had to do with matters of the theatre or the amuse- 
ment world. 

The advent of Kellar came long afterward. 

Alexander Hermann was undoubtedly the most pros- 
perous and surely the most popular magician of the last 
fifty years. It was in the early 8o's that he began to 
survive the difficulties and the prejudice he at first en- 
countered. From 1885 until the time of his greatly re- 
gretted demise, Hermann was the one and only presti- 
digitateur who could obtain booking in the theatres of 
the very first class, and he was able to fill these as well 
as any star who came supported by a large organization. 
Hermann had many assistants ; it was not all profit with 
him. He was a veritable first nighter at the theatres and 
operas, and had a large clientele of friends. If all the 
persons whom he aided were here chronicled, few of the 
powers that to-day are prominent would be lacking in 
the recital. It may be said of him that he was the one 
magician to raise the art of magic up to the plane of the 

of 90u0ic anD t&e Drama 345 

modern theatre, and no one has taken his place to this 

Alexander Hermann was perhaps the best and most 
successful of the magicians of the last half century which 
also included Augustus Hartz and Robert Heller; all the 
others were in a different class. Though the career of 
Kellar is of such recent date^ and is so generally known 
that it is not to be recorded here other than to observe 
that he amassed a fortune by his work, and that his per- 
formance was wholly original and has not been dupli- 
cated. Alexander Hermann was the grandson of "Her- 
mann the Great," and was a tremendous box office at- 
traction and a good manager; his wife, Adelaide Her- 
mann, is a still better one, and to her thrift was due the 
fortune Hermann had saved, though in the rebuilding and 
management of "The Morgue" to which I have referred 
quite often, he lost a great portion of it. Hermann was a 
great believer in printer's ink, and his business manager 
Edward Bloom, now associated with Julius Cahn, was 
given carte blanche in this respect. 

The widow of the great magician, who also inherited 
his fortune, was not only an excellent business woman 
but also was one of the most beautiful women in the 
world; and to this day with that industry for which she 
was always noted, she receives from $400 to $500 a week 
salary, by the presentation of an act of legerdemain in 

Adelaide Hermann, then known as Mile. Addie, was 
doing a novelty act with Schumann's Transatlantiques, a 
Variety Combination that toured the world thirty-four 
years ago. To see her to-day either on or off the stage 
one would believe this impossible and yet people will 
prate about the life of the stage worker. There are no 
better preserved women to be found anywhere in the 
world than upon the stage. The majority of the famous 

346 Jfottp gears ffl>&0ertmtion 

stage women of to-day show no sign of the public's 
waning interest ; there is no outward indication that their 
careers are coming to a close and yet nearly all of these 
were actively engaged a quarter of a century ago. 

It is fully twenty-five years since Julia Marlowe was 
seen first as a tragic queen ; it seems but yesterday. But 
who is there that grows old more gracefully than the 
favorite of the stage ? If Lillian Russell twenty-five years 
ago looked any younger than now, the difference was not 
very marked and if there is any woman in the world who 
takes better care of herself and preserves her youth with 
more vigor and caution than she, the name is not here 

Patti is now sixty-five, and yet when she sang at Albert 
Hall in London a few months ago, she was just as lithe 
and gay as ever, and her physical contour showed abso- 
lutely no sign of the slightest languor or lack of sym- 
metry, and yet the diva has her glass of wine at dinner, 
and, why deny it, when she is not singing, or about to 
prepare for singing, she smokes the daintiest cigarettes. 
When I was at "Craig Y Nos," where, with Mrs. Grau, I 
spent two days, I was a witness of la diva's art in the 
smoking of a cigarette. Patti, the divine one ! There are 
no rules of life that she does not obey and for this reason 
it is impossible to conceive when she will really terminate 
her artistic career. Even another "farewell" American 
tour is threatened. 

Howard Thurston, prestidigitator, was born at Co- 
lumbus, Ohio, July 20, 1869, son of William and Mar- 
garet (Cloud) Thurston, of English ancestry, and nephew 
of former Senator John M. Thurston. His parents in- 
tended him for the ministry, and in obedience to their 
wishes spent five years at Moody's School in Brookfield, 
Mass. ; but a book on magic bent his inclinations towards 
the stage instead of the pulpit. 

of S@u0tc anB tfte Drama 347 

His success in his chosen vocation was phenomenal, 
which led to engagements in New York City, London, 
and the principal European cities, and he holds the honor 
of appearing before four crowned heads King Christian, 
King Edward, King George of Greece and the Czar of 
Russia at one time at an impromptu performance at 

In 1904 Thurston made a complete tour of the world, 
visiting Australia, Japan, China, the Philippines, India, 
and Continental Europe, appearing before thirteen rulers 
of nations, which established the young American as the 
greatest magician in the world. 

In 1907 Thurston was an associate star with Kellar 
and toured the United States, and upon Kellar's retire- 
ment, in 1908, accepted the mantle of magic from his 
worthy predecessor, which he has since worn with honor 
and success. 

Augustus F. Hartz, present manager of the Euclid 
Avenue Opera House in Cleveland, Ohio, was born in 
Liverpool, England, September 8th, 1843. 

Gus Hartz won his first laurels as a magician, and one 
of the world's greatest, too, was he. It was at the Young 
Men's Christian Association Hall at 23d Street and Fourth 
Avenue that he made his professional debut as a pres- 
tidigitateur in September, 1863. 

The writer was attending public school in the vicinity 
and was present on the occasion noted. Gus had been 
apprenticed to his elder brother Joseph who was one of 
the first magicians to give public entertainments in 
America. He learned to become proficient in this field 
of endeavor. The brothers were three, the youngest, 
George, now a member of the New York stock exchange ; 
together they maintained, for many years, a store for the 
sale of magical apparatus at Fourteenth Street and 

348 jFortp gears 2D&0ertration 

George was never a magician, but he travelled with his 
two brothers throughout the world and acquired sufficient 
knowledge of legerdemain to enable him to open, on his 
own account, a store for the sale of magical goods under 
the St. James Hotel, one of the city's popular resorts, on 
the site of the St. James Building. 

Gus Hartz quit the field of magic in December, 1879, 
and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. There he entered into 
the real estate business but, after two years, was induced 
to lease the Park Theatre in that city, which was run in 
opposition to the Euclid Avenue Opera House, owned by 
Mark Hanna and managed by his cousin, L. G. Hanna. 
Hartz's energy and ability were sufficient to attract such 
stars as Henry Irving, Mary Anderson, and Edwin Booth 
to the newer house. The Park Theatre was destroyed by 
fire exactly eleven weeks after Hartz had opened it and 
this ruined him financially. Nevertheless, before the 
ashes of the burning playhouse had cooled, its unfortu- 
nate lessee had succeeded in obtaining a long lease of the 
Euclid Avenue Opera House. All of the magical appar- 
atus which Hartz had stored in the burning theatre were 
destroyed; this was the means of ending, for all time, 
his career as a magician. 

He is still the manager of the Euclid Avenue Opera 
House, one of the best managed playhouses in this 
country and occasionally he has assumed other mana- 
gerial tasks, being at one time, one of the many managers 
of Richard Mansfield, and it was he who first produced 
Milton Royle's play "Friends" which proved so very 
successful for all concerned. 

The advent of the "Knocker," as the traducer has been 
dubbed, was of very ancient vintage, and at no period 
that can be recalled was this personage wholly absent 
from theatrical life. John D. Mishler, the old-time mana- 
ger, new retired, used to say that it was necessary to die 

of S@u0tc attB tfte Drama 349 

to be worthy of praise from one's brethren of the stage, 
and he further extemporized thus : "If one-half the nice 
things that actors say of one another after death would 
only be accorded them while they are still with us, the 
words of eulogy would have a truer ring to them." 

George Cohan comes of a theatrical family. His father 
is Jerry Cohan and his mother, Helen F. ; there is also a 
sister Josephine. The Cohans originally had one of those 
Hibernicons which were prevalent a quarter of a century 
ago. At the age of three, George was already a dancing 
wonder, and at five he was, in addition, a violin prodigy. 
Although he is now just thirty-two years of age, he was 
prominent all through New England twenty-five years 
ago. He was born in Providence, R. I., in 1878, and fif- 
teen years later his genius was manifesting itself in vari- 
ous directions. He it was who became the power behind 
the throne of many of the famous monologists who, 
from 1890 to 1900, poured rapid-fire talk at their audi- 
ences. Lew Dockstader never failed to credit George 
with the ammunition which he, as a prolific writer, pro- 
vided the great minstrel with. When the four Cohans 
began to "play dates," their salary was anywhere from 
$200 to $350 a week, and it did not exceed $500 during 
the first few years of their activity. Suddenly the extra- 
ordinary dancing of both George and Josephine began to 
tell. It has always been a source of wonderment to the 
writer how they ever were compelled to wait a day for 
honest recognition, for the incomparable dancing of these 
two has at no time been equaled. However, a decade ago, 
the four Cohans were selected as the choice of a Western 
manager, J. J. Murdock, who had extensively advertised 
that he would pay $3,000 a week (for one week only) 
for the best vaudeville act offered him, to be presented at 
the Masonic Temple Roof Garden in Chicago. It was 
through this engagement and the attendant publicity that 

350 jfottp gears SD60ertmtfon 

the vogue of the four Cohans reached its zenith. Then 
came the ambition to become a star, in which it is only 
creditable to the rest of the family to state that they 
encouraged him finally. As a result, "The Governor's 
Son" and "Running for Office" were evolved and both 
were successful. George Cohan had previously written 
sketches and songs galore. These were produced so 
rapidly in vaudeville theatres that his sudden deter- 
mination to withdraw from this particular field was re- 
garded almost as a calamity by variety managers and 
artists alike. Then he met Sam Harris, with whose name 
his later achievements have been associated, which 
achievements are matters of public interest and every-day 

"Out of the Nowhere, the place distant from the source 
of theatrical fame, a genius came last night to stir and 
stun an audience by the marvelous power of his acting. 
In an instant he proved his greatness." Thus wrote a 
Chicago critic on the memorable night when Walker 
Whiteside began an engagement in that city, early this 
season, in Israel Zangwill's "The Melting Pot," an en- 
gagement that was to last much longer than any serious 
drama had ever held in the Western metropolis. This 
wonderful actor has not yet been seen in New York in 
this Zangwill masterpiece. The West has been loath to 
let him go. Eighteen years ago, this same Walter White- 
side, then a mere lad of seventeen, a boy prodigy, as- 
tounded and completely captured first Chicago, and then 
New York. As the rediscovered Whiteside, an artist more 
mature, more experienced, may again be expected to 
prove a sensation. Most of the seventeen years that 
elapsed between Whiteside's appearance as Hamlet at 
the Union Square Theatre, New York, in 1891, and his 
emergence from practical oblivion in "The Melting Pot" 
in Chicago this season, were spent at the head of a reper- 

of a^ustc and tfte Drama 351 

toire company of his own, which entered on a "barn- 
storming" tour, playing territory few attractions ever 
visited, yet giving superb performances of classical plays, 
among them "Hamlet," "The Merchant of Venice," "King 
Lear," "Othello" and "Richelieu." He was practically 
unheard of in the larger cities, save when a traveling 
salesman mentioned the fact that he'd seen a "dashed fine 
actor" at Greenville, Ind., or some other place not 
worthy of geographical mention. Liebler and company 
claimed Whiteside for the larger cities two years ago, 
and now that they have furnished him with a play that 
is universally acclaimed, wherever it has been seen, as 
the biggest and noblest dramatic work of years. There 
can be little question that the metropolitan appearance 
of Whiteside in "The Melting Pot" next season will prove 
an epoch-making event in the history of our drama. 

Lucy Weston, America's adopted favorite, who is 
now a reigning favorite, has been on the stage since 
she was ten years old, in which time she has played 
many parts. Her first professional engagement was in a 
pantomime called "Cinderella," as one of the good fairies. 
After a season or so in pantomime she had a speaking part 
in an English racing play called "An English Rose," in 
which she essayed the role of stable boy. A real Ameri- 
can blood and thunder play was the next attraction to 
come along to need her services; Miss Weston decided 
that musical comedy was more in line with her unusual 
talents and abilities, so she engaged herself to George 
Edwardes, the London musical comedy producer, and 
played the title role, Jack Shepard. Singing in the Eng- 
lish musical halls followed, and her success here was 
instantaneous. Last Christmas she came to this country 
for the first time for the vaudeville managers, but after a 
few weeks she was engaged, as a special feature, for the 
"Follies of 1907." She continued with that organization 

352 Jfottp gears fl>&0ertmtfon 

all last season and also played in its successor, "The 
Follies of 1908." The vaudeville managers have again 
captured the little comedienne, and she is now creating 
a sensation with her lyrical advice songs.* 

No matter what Ada Lewis has done since her New 
York debut as Kitty Lynch, "The Tough Girl" in "Reilly 
and the 400," in December, 1890, that one characterization 
will be indissolubly connected with her name. A practi- 
cal nobody in San Francisco, Ada Lewis was induced to 
brave a trip across the continent to join Mr. Harrigan's 
company, by the promise of a weekly salary of $20, a 
sum that seemed enormous to her then. Her success was 
instantaneous. From that time on Ada Lewis has cre- 
ated a gallery of eccentric types, invariably scoring the 
individual hit in the production in which she appeared. 
This season she is awarded stellar honors for the first 
time, despite the fact that the most eminent dramatic 
writers in the country have been long urging managers 
to take advantage of her gifts and popularity. Her first 
vehicle is called "The Head of the House," and is by 
Edward Waterman Townsend (the author of "Chimmie 
Fadden") and Frank Ward O'Malley, the most popular 
and, according to no less an authority than Arthur Bris- 
bane, the most able of journalists. With a play written 
by men so competent to fit her with a suitable part, Miss 
Lewis' starring career should begin auspiciously. 

Twenty-five years ago, in the spectacular productions 
of that period, it was noted that the actress who was 
called upon to appear in imposing roles of display, could 
really act. She was not a "show girl" as is the case to- 
day, and in burlesque, then a fine art, by the way, all the 
well-known leaders of the Lydia Thompson company 

*Miss Weston is now appearing in "The Candy Shop," a 
Dillingham production. 

of Su0fc anD tfte Drama 353 

were excellent actresses; and their after careers clearly 
established this. 

Lizzie Kelsey, who was the Stallacta of "The Black 
Crook," was a consummate artiste. 

Then there was Nellie Larkelle, who had the true 
spirit of burlesque, as did Adah Richmond. 

Where have we to-day on the whole length of the 
"Great White Way" another Eliza Weathersby? 

Although Pauline Markham was not conspicuous 
from an acting point of view, she was an ideal Stal- 
lacta, and in her earliest visit was about the most ravish- 
ing display of loveliness that one could possibly conceive 
of. Miss Markham afterwards became a strictly legiti- 
mate player, and her career took on many vicissitudes as 
it progressed, but at no time that the writer can recall 
has she ever failed to exhibit her charms gracefully, if 
indeed it cannot be said that as an actress she always 
scored, at least she improved; and in the dual role of 
Lady Isabel and Mme. Vine in "East Lynne," the por- 
trayal was praiseworthy from every point of view. 

Rose and Olive Rand were burlesquers and dancers 
thirty-five years ago, and afterwards became players of 

Emily and Betty Rigl were actually premieres 
in ballet. Often Emily, who now has risen to emotional 
heights and who has had a notable dramatic career, and 
her sister, danced in opera spectacle and burlesque, under 
the name of the Rigl sisters. Emily, next to Clara Mor- 
ris, was considered the best emotional actress in Amer- 
ica less than ten years ago. 

At the present time and for six years previously, vaude- 
ville audiences have been listeners to a singer who pos- 
sesses a voice and methods that should entitle her to 
longevity on the grand opera stage. Edith Helena is 

354 Jfottp gears fl)60ertmtion 

here referred to. What a struggle has been hers! Six 
years ago this remarkable singer tried to obtain a hear- 
ing, and the experiences she passed through and the per- 
sistency she has displayed, would be worthy of a lengthy 
recital. Suffice to relate that fortunately her exploita- 
tion became finally possible through much ingenuity on 
the part of her husband, a Mr. Jennings, who, being an 
old newspaper man, evolved a plan of publicity for his 
wife that had the effect of attracting the managerial at- 
tention; and Edith Helena's salary rose from nothing to 
$300 a week. The method used by Mr. Jennings was to 
cause illustrated articles to appear in the press and mag- 
azines in which the throat of the singer was scientifically 
theorized upon, also a scale of high notes was used. 
Only four singers of world-wide fame were credited with 
ability to reach a certain note; first came Nilsson, then 
Patti, then Yaw and finally Helena, who was credited 
with being able to sing the highest note that ever came 
from a human throat. This was the manner in which 
one of the greatest high soprano voices in the world and 
its possessor were exploited, and that too through sheer 
necessity. After a year in America, Madame Helena 
went abroad, where her vogue was far greater than here, 
and on one occasion, in Spain, an impresario, hearing 
her in private, signed a contract to pay her $500 a night 
in American money, to sing in grand opera; which was 

The purpose of these lines is to state that it is the 
author's belief that in this artiste some impresario has 
a "find"; but a proper course must be pursued. Two 
years at least should be devoted to artistic perfection, 
and if Edith Helena has the benefits of the advice and 
tuition of a Jean de Reszke or a Mathilde Marchesi, then 
indeed in two years, or perhaps three, a veritable colora- 
tura will be heard in grand opera. 

of S@u0ic anD tfte Drama 355 

Rose Melville was born in Terre Haute, Ind. Her 
father was a Baptist minister who held meetings in the 
country districts where the family lived, and Miss Mel- 
ville became much interested in the girls of the farms 
and small towns, closely noting their pathetic struggle 
with awkwardness when in company of other people; 
and from these observations was evolved the character 
of Sis Hopkins, which seems destined to go down in his- 
tory, hand in hand with Jefferson and his Rip Van 

Miss Melville is an exceedingly conscientious actress 
and bears herself with the same freshness and earnest- 
ness that characterized her work during the early runs 
of the play. 

It will be recalled that Patti on her last tour here sang 
an American ballad entitled "The Last Farewell." It will 
no doubt be interesting to state here just how this song 
came to be rendered by her, and in justice to her honored 
name and great fame, though I am in no way obligated to 
vindicate her, it is through a sense of all round vindication 
that the story must be told here. In the contract which 
I held with the diva for this "farewell" tour a clause 
existed giving her the right to select an American Ballad, 
to be sung as an encore. It so happened that at the time 
that the preliminaries of the tour were being arranged I 
had my office in the suite maintained by Charles K. 
Harris, a music publisher who has made a large fortune 
through writing ballads that reach the heart. 

When Mr. Harris heard of the clause in this contract, 
he expressed a desire to write the ballad and as I have 
always felt that if Harris had so chosen, he might have 
reached eminence as a composer, I commissioned him to 
write one, which when completed was sent to the diva, 
and promptly returned, found wanting as to words and 

356 Jfottp gears a)&0ertmtion 

music. Reluctant to hurt the feelings of the ambitious 
composer of "After the Ball" I kept from him the knowl- 
edge here expressed, but cautioned him to rewrite the 
song and raise its artistic level or the case would be hope- 
less. And as he knew I was going to "Craig Y Nos" to 
visit Patti, Harris set about to improve the work and 
handed it to me just as I was boarding the "Lucania" 
for Liverpool. 

To be brief I shall only state here that Mrs. Grau and 
myself pleaded the cause of the American Balladist 
throughout the length of our stay in the Patti Castle. 
The diva, despite her gracious hospitality to us, declined 
in the most emphatic terms, the matter seemed hopeless ; 
but I could not bear to think of Harris being disappointed. 
I wonder if when he reads these lines, he will appreciate 
that which, till now, at least has been wholly miscon- 
ceived. As we were about to depart for America, the 
diva in bidding us farewell, thanked me for the visit and 
said : "You are paying me $1,000 more a night than I ever 
had before not to speak of the other gratuities, what can 
I do for you in return? Ask me what you will and it shall 
be granted." 

I thought for a moment, and then, somewhat nervously 
I am told, began to stammer out that if she would only 
sing my friend's song just once, I could think of no favor 
that she could grant, that would make me so happy. 

Patti frowned and then frowned again. It was probably 
two moments before she spoke. Finally she said : "I will 
send you a despatch to the ship at Liverpool with my 
decision." Thus we took our farewell of the Baroness 
Cederstrom, and were soon on our way to London where 
a couple of days were spent ere our departure for Liver- 
pool. On arrival there, promptly going on board the 
steamer, the same one we came over on, the "Lucania," 
as soon as we reached our stateroom, the purser handed 


of 90u0fc attti tfie Drama 357 

me a despatch which I opened with trembling hands. It 
was from Patti, and read as follows : 

"Will sing 'The Last Farewell' subject to business 
arrangements with the composer, satisfactory to me. 


And now the public may know just why the greatest 
cantatrice of the last fifty years, if not of all time, persis- 
tently sang "The Last Farewell" at every one of her forty 
concerts in America in 1904. 

A singer of whom little is heard nowadays, yet whose 
renown was of the greatest was lima di Murska, one of 
the greatest artists that American music lovers ever 
heard, and a coloratura soprano whose equal is not to be 
heard to-day in any opera house in the world. Di Murska 
however, did not prosper to the extent that Nilsson, 
Lucca and Gerster did. These are mentioned because 
they were companion singers of the illustrous Hungarian. 
Di Murska, however, was received with great acclaim in 
Australia. One of the greatest lyric organizations ever 
heard in the world, was the one headed by Lucca, Di 
Murska and Tamberlik. Max Maretzek was the entre- 
preneur who directed this remarkable array of stars, and 
the extraordinary furore which they invariably created, is 
the best evidence that the musical public of all ages at 
least, as far as America is concerned, were fond of wor- 
shipping at the shrine of celebrities. The ideal cast in 
which Maurice Grau reveled in the days of the de 
Reszkes, was just as desirable forty years ago as now. 

Who, of those who can recall the "Trovatore" at the 
old Academy on i4th Street, with Theodore Wachtel, 
Parepa Rosa, Charles Santley and Adelaide Phillips, will 
deny that the progress of opera has after all been greatly 
at the box office? Three dollars was the very highest 
price for seats even for a Nilsson or even for a great cast, 
now $10.00 is asked to hear two singers of the highest 


358 Jfottp gears 2D&0ertmtion 

rank, such as Melba and Tetrazzini, and if Caruso and 
Melba were to sing in one evening, there is no price that 
seats would not bring ; yet opera goers of the 70*5 and also 
of the 8o's heard the greatest cast for $3.00 for the best 

A company which included Nilsson, Torriani, Gary, 
Campanini, Capoul, Maurel, Nanetti, all at their best, was 
surely a delight, and one can never forget the "Aida" 
which these matchless singers rendered at the Academy 
of Music thirty years ago. The best seats were $3.00. 

Of the dramatic stars who began at the top of the 
ladder there were, of the gentler sex, just three Mrs. 
Leslie Carter, Mrs. Lillie Langtry and Mrs. Potter. All 
three began their stage careers with the same incentive, 
and all because of publicity created in their social 
lives. Of the three, Mrs. Carter reached a high pinnacle 
of fame and artistic promise through the great interest 
David Belasco took in her development. And yet in the 
two years that he has been absent from her directorate, 
her achievements have had little to record. It cannot be 
fairly said that all the good accomplished has been lost 
through Mr. Belasco's elimination. A new play presented 
by Mrs. Carter before a metropolitan public, would 
quickly determine the present status of this much dis- 
cussed player. Mrs. Carter's first triumph was in "Miss 
Helyett," an opera bouffe that had great vogue in France ; 
this successful appearance closely followed her failure in 
"The Ugly Duckling."* 

Mrs. Langtry never assumed much and although her 
business ability was uncommon, her progress on the 

*Before these pages went to the press, Mrs. Carter had ap- 
peared in "Kassa" at the Liberty, January, 1909. In this play 
she has scored a noteworthy triumph, giving unmistakable evi- 
dence of her aforetime charm and power, her art mellowed and 
brightened to a great degree. 

of 9@u0ic anD tfie Drama 359 

stage was brought about through much persistency and 
patience. The "J erse y Lily" nevertheless amassed a 
large fortune as a stage queen and her potency now is not 
exhausted. Last year, for a salary of $2,500 a week, she 
presented a "Thriller" on the vaudeville stage in the 
shape of a serious sketch. 

Mrs. Potter's debut on the professional stage took place 
at the Fifth Avenue Theatre ; a few weeks ago the same 
actress, after an absence of fifteen years, was heard in a 
vaudeville monologue. Mrs. Potter at her debut in "Mile. 
de Bressier" made about as positive a fiasco as the New 
York stage ever recorded; but improvement came with 
her progress, her best work being achieved with Kyrle 
Bellew in Mr. Abbey's noteworthy production of "Antony 
and Cleopatra." Here the society actress really gave 
promise and her work was by no means unworthy. It is 
believed, however, that Mr. Bellew was responsible for 
the interpretation of this one character. At any rate the 
revival was successful and ran at Wallack's Theatre near- 
ly an entire season. 

Mrs. Carter it will thus be seen is the only one of the 
three erstwhile society queens whom vaudeville has not 
yet captured. It is needless to dwell further on the sub- 
ject, save as an illustration of the vast changes which 
time has perpetrated and it is very doubtful if at this time 
a public could be created, in sufficient numbers for similar 
enterprises with those just recorded. It would not be 
possible in 1909. The progress of the stage in this respect 
has been clearly established, even in vaudeville the day 
has long since passed when a reputation accomplished 
through sensationalism can be paraded with impunity. 

In Augustin Daly's company from the very outset of its 
existence three players were enlisted who rarely were 
seen on any other stages than that of the author-manager, 
and never from choice. These were James Lewis, Charles 

360 jfortp gears 2D60ertmtion 

Fisher and Mrs. Gilbert and despite the fact that Mr. 
Daly's company was composed of many members who 
were with him almost as long, these three were wont to 
express his sentiments so clearly that they would be 
apparently lost in the employ of any other manager. It 
was rare indeed that Daly presented one of the old 
comedies, but when he did, such a cast as he would have 
to interpret them Who can ever forget the Daly repre- 
sentations of "London Assurance" or "The School for 
Scandal?" Yet the Daly productions of "Pique," "The 
Big Bonanza," "Needles and Pins," "Divorce" and 
"7.28-8" availed the three distinguished actors named 
quite as emphatically. 

Mrs. Annie Yeamans has outlived all but one of her 
talented daughters; to-day only Lydia Yeamans is alive, 
Jenny and Emily having passed away recently. Jenny 
Yeamans was as talented as Lotta, but in some way she 
failed to reach great stellar fame though at one time she 
headed her own company and with some success. Jenny 
was one of the mainstays of Edward Harrigan in the 
days of the "Mulligan" series of plays, and even when he 
came uptown to the Park Theatre and to his own new 
house, now the Garrick, she was invariably with him. 
Emily appeared in roles less prominent. Lydia had a 
salary of $350 a week and has had a vogue in vaudeville 
which covers a span of twenty years. Her delightful 
musical specialty, in which she was ably assisted by her 
husband, Frederick F. Titus, is always a marked feature 
on any bill. Of late it is rare indeed that Lydia Yeamans 
Titus is seen on the boards of our modern vaudeville 
theatres. Mrs. Annie Yeamans, however, appears with 
the piquancy and buoyancy of a veritable debutante, and 
her grace as well as her delivery is as faultless as in the 
Go's. Mrs. Yeamans holds to-day the cognomen of 
'Grand Old Woman of the Stage," having inherited the 





A quartette of players who have had long and honorable careers. 

of S@tt0ic ana tfie Drama SGI 

mantle from Mrs. Gilbert, and considering her fifty years' 
service and the unbroken series of important "hits" 
achieved by her, together with her extraordinary aptitude 
for artistic creation, it's well merited. There is not, at 
least, at this time any indication that her retirement is 
even in contemplation. 

Miss Rose Eytinge who as these lines are being penned 
is en route from Portland, Oregon, to the Actors' Fund 
Home on Staten Island has been conspicuously before the 
public for more than half a century.* 

In the famous stock company maintained by Messrs. 
Shook and Palmer at the Union Square Theatre, she was 
a shining light. Her most important success being in the 
title role in "Rose Michel," which ran for over one hun- 
dred and fifty nights in that theatre. Miss Eytinge was 
wedded to General George Butler and from this 
marriage issued one son, Frank Butler, a brainy 
and brilliant poet who at the age of twenty-five, 
when his career was about to develop great- 
ness met a tragic death; it is to this calamity that his 
mother's premature retirement is mainly due. Mr. Butler 
but a short time before his sad death was married to Miss 
Alice Johnson, an actress of vast experience and great 
versatility whose career has covered a wide range from 
Grand and Comic opera to tragedy and farce. In a single 
season, at the Murray Hill Theatre, she was seen in a 
diversified repertoire, appearing in no less than thirty 
roles and running the entire gamut of the modern stage. 
At the present time Miss Johnson is appearing in the role 
of Comtesse de Champigny in the "Man from Home" 
at the Astor Theatre in this city. 

In 1875 Bertram C. Whitney, then three years, of age, 

*Miss Eytinge has since left the Actors' Fund Home, and will 
resume her professional career. 

362 Jfottp gears 2D60ertoation 

may be said to have commenced his theatrical career, 
for as soon as he was large enough to do so, he became 
the official programme distributor to the patrons of his 
father's theatre in Detroit. His business acumen seems 
to have asserted itself at a very early age, for not long 
after he had secured the opera-glass privilege and was in 
business for himself at a time when other children were 
playing marbles. He afterwards was in the employ of 
his father in every capacity connected with a theatre 
from lithographing to making calcium gas. 

When he was but nineteen, the managerial end of the 
business appealed to him, and he was engaged as business 
manager and treasurer for Laura Schirmer Mapleson in 
"The Fencing Master," which at that period was the most 
important operatic organization touring America. 

In 1890 he went to Europe as assistant manager and 
treasurer of F. C. Whitney's Wild America, the first and 
only Wild West show that has ever toured completely 
around the world. Returning to his home in Detroit in 
1893, he assumed the active management of his father's 
circuit of theatres, together with a chain of nineteen the* 
atres in Canada. In 1894 he assumed the management 
of Margaret Mather, and presented her in a massive and 
elaborate production of "Cymbeline" and later in Shake- 
spearian plays, until her unfortunate demise a few years 
afterwards. He then became financially interested with 
his brother, F. C. Whitney. 

He purchased the "Isle of Spice," and after spending 
over $50,000 on the production succeeded in making it 
one of the best paying musical attractions on tour. He 
secured "Piff, Pan 7 , Pouff" direct from its solid run of 
eight months at the New York Casino, and sent the com- 
pany on a tour that extended from Maine to California 
and back again. 

Mr. Whitney to-day controls a vast circuit of theatres, 

of Q&usic anD tfie Drama 363 

which includes the Detroit Opera House, the Princess 
Theatre in Toronto, the Whitney Opera House in Chi- 
cago, a new theatre in Ann Arbor, known as the Whitney 
Theatre, and the Owosso Theatre, Owosso, Michigan. 
He will send on tour his latest musical success, "A 
Broken Idol," also "A Knight for a Day," "The Isle of 
Spice," "The Show Girl," "King Goo Goo," a new musi- 
cal comedy as yet unnamed, the book by Hal Stephens, 
and a new piece with Charles E. Evans in the title role. 

He is also a partner in a Canadian circuit numbering 
twenty theatres ; is a part owner in the Star Theatre, Buf- 
falo ; a stockholder in the United States Amusement Com- 
pany, owning theatres in Boston and New York; he is 
interested in several billposting plants in different cities, 
and has the most complete establishment in the world for 
making theatrical productions, a four-story brick building, 
located at Woodward and Selden Avenues, in Detroit, oc- 
cupying a floor space of twenty thousand square feet, 
where he has constantly employed a corps of scenic 
artists, carpenters, electricians, property men and cos- 
turners. All of the productions are made under his per- 
sonal direction, and Herr Gus Sohlke is engaged by the 
year as general stage director, in order to enable him to 
keep the performances of his various attractions up to 
the Whitney standard. 

J. M. Hill originally was a Chicago merchant. In the 
early 8o's he became convinced that Denman Thompson 
as "Uncle Joshua" could be developed into a veritable 
gold mine. Eventually Hill brought Thompson to the 
1 4th Street Theatre in this city, and the writer recalls 
that this typically Yankee showman was the first to see 
the possibilities of natural homely acting on the stage. 
"I will sit down and wait for the public till it comes," 
said Hill, and he had to wait, too. For three months 
empty benches were in the majority. Then Hill sprang 

364 JFortp gears fl)&0ertoation 

his coup. He took an entire page in every newspaper in 
the city, reproducing in each an eulogistic tribute to 
Thompson and the play which the New York Herald 
had bestowed upon both after they had been for many 
weeks at the i4th Street Theatre. However, the business 
jumped immediately to capacity, and for many months 
thereafter seats could only be had at a premium or by 
being purchased a month in advance. Hill used original 
methods with all of his atractions. He developed Mar- 
garet Mather into a great attraction, but somehow he 
seemed to be unable to hold his attractions for any great 
length of time. 

"Kit" Clarke was general manager of M. B. Leavitt's 
attractions in the yo's. He was a man of literary attain- 
ments. He left the theatrical business about twenty 
years ago and has made a fortune in the jewelry line. He 
is now located in Maiden Lane. J. H. Surridge, also a 
Leavitt employee of the distant past, left the stage world 
many years ago and accumulated wealth by embracing 
the opportunity which the demand for quick lunch 
restaurants created a decade ago. 

John Goodwin, of the Goodwin Brothers, who publish 
and have for twenty years published the recognized Turf 
Guide, was, thirty-five years ago, one of the highest 
salaried men in the business department of theatricals. 
He was advance agent for Marie Seebach, Amiee and 
others, and he was a man of much education and 
was thoroughly illustrative of the class of advance agent 
which was accorded more compensation in olden times 
than is to-day paid, even with all the vast progress other- 

James Foster Milliken, now a prominent lawyer was, 
in the 8o's, a well-known playwright, and also a manager. 
He was then known as "Colonel" Milliken, and it is re- 
called that he adopted the French Vaudevilles in which 

of 99u0tc attD tfte Drama 365 

Anna Judic had achieved fame, and in two of these 
"Niniche" and "Madame Boniface" Milliken secured 
Madeline Lucette for the title roles. Miss Lucette was 
indeed a splendid artiste, and in the heydays of the 
Casino she and her husband, J. H. ("Jack") Ryley, were 
predominant. Afterwards Miss Lucette became famous 
as an authoress, and several of her plays reached Broad- 
way under the direction of Charles Frohman. Mr. and 
Mrs. Ryley invested much of their large fortune in real 
estate in the beautiful city of New Rochelle and they still 
do possess large holdings there. 

In the musical field and that of high-grade concert 
direction there is in this country, and has been for over 
a quarter of a century, a type of local impresario, which 
has gone far toward making possible some of the great 
achievements of the high-salaried stars, vocalists and in- 

No other branch of the amusement world is so ably 
represented in the business department as is the musical, 
and the achievements of one that has come under the 
writer's observation is worthy of such mention as is here 

In Los Angeles, Cal., there is perhaps the ablest all- 
round manager of great musical events in America, 
known to fame as L. E. Behymer, and what he has ac- 
complished on the Pacific Coast would require, in its 
recital, a good sized volume. 

For twenty-five years he has labored and struggled in 
the great Southwest, and to him, more than any other 
one man, is due the vast progress which has come to the 
Pacific Coast in a musical way. He began in the dramatic 
field, occupying every possible position in the California 
theatres, from actor to impresario. 

He it was who first brought to California the great 
musicians, such as Paderewski, Melba, Nordica, Gadski, 

366 JFortp gears g>60ertmtion 

Eames, Sembrich, Schumann-Heink, Rosenthal and 

He also undertook the great risk of bringing the 
Metropolitan Grand Opera Company to California, and 
it was under Mr. Behymer's management that "La 
Boheme" was first presented in America by the Del Conte 
Italian Opera Company of Milan, Italy, and Madam 
Melba sang "Mimi" in that opera for the first time, under 
the same manager. 

He paid Herr Conried $10,000 for a single representa- 
tion of "Parsifal," with Mme. Fremstad and Herr Burg- 
staller, and paid $7,800 for one performance of "Lucia," 
with Mme. Sembrich and Signer Caruso in the cast. 

It was Behymer who, a week after the earthquake in 
San Francisco, guaranteed Mme. Sara Bernhardt $4,000 
a night for a series of performances, one of which enabled 
her to give, in a most sumptuous manner and with idyllic 
surroundings, the Greek drama "Phedra," at the cele- 
brated Greek (outdoor) Theatre at Berkeley, Cal., to an 
audience of 6,800 persons, and with all the regular thea- 
tres barred against the divine one in Southern California, 
he engaged the theatre at Venice of America, which is 
built on a wharf, 800 feet out in the ocean, and presented 
this queen of the drama in "La Tosca," "Adrienne Lecou- 
vreur" and "Fedora." 

It is the overcoming of such odds and opposition that 
has made this manager worth while. 

Ignace Paderewski was so pleased with Behymer's 
management of a coast tour of 21 concerts, which netted 
the pianist $57,000, that he sent him a draft for $1,000 
and a letter of appreciation. Behymer has, unaided and 
alone, established symphony orchestras, not only in Los 
Angeles, but in other large cities in the West, and it is 
to his efforts and the guaranteeing of a certainty in a 
number of dates, west of Denver, that has enabled the 

of egitsic att& tfie Drama 367 

leading vocalists and instrumentalists of Europe and 
America to appear at reasonable prices at the Greek 
Theatre at Berkeley, and assisted this classic edifice to 
become the center of great musical events. 

During the last year Manager Behymer presented on 
the Pacific Coast Ben Greet's Players, accompanied by 
the Russian Symphony Orchestra in veritable festivals 
of the classics. 

Mr. Behymer has not amassed wealth by his efforts; 
he is proud that he has been able to indulge in artistic 
extravagance, and even the very small towns of California 
and the great Southwest have been enabled to hear the 
World's Greatest Musicians through this one man's per- 
sistent and energetic efforts. 

There can be no better use made of the opportunity 
which the writer has undertaken, than to place on record 
the results achieved by this musical business man, who, 
despite all his vicissitudes and uphill battle, has retained 
at all times a complete equanimity of temperament, and 
withal a charming personality, and who is beloved by all 
the artists who have come under his management and 
who have visited within his home. 

In Chicago musical enterprises are, as a rule, in the 
hands of Mr. Wright Newmann, and like Mr. Behymer, 
he has made possible, through his energy and the great 
risks he has taken himself, the visits of virtually every 
great musical celebrity and the great symphony orches- 
tras to the Windy City. Mr. Newmann, like Mr. Behy- 
mer and the late Henry Wolfsohn, is a musician, and it is 
to be said of the men who labor in the field of music, 
that they are less subject to commercialism than those 
who have the strictly theatrical interests in their charge. 
The Metropolitan Opera Company now play their Chi- 
cago engagements under Mr. Newmann's direction. 

That a revival of real Comic Opera is near at hand, I 

368 Jfottp gears 2D6mtmtton 

verily believe, and it is amazing only that the public, 
which once revelled in works like "The Black Hussar," 
"Erminie" and "The Beggar Student," has been willing 
to tolerate for so long the class of musical plays with 
which Broadway and the theatrical district have abound- 
ed for so many moons. Surely it cannot be said that we 
have not the material, for in Europe successes are 
achieved every year that are not even tried out here ; and 
in instances such as "The Merry Widow" and "The 
Waltz Dream" it was clearly shown what sort of re- 
sponse our public can and will give to good light opera. 
We have here in our midst, composers and composer- 
librettists who crave for a hearing, and some of these are 
men known to fame, who, musically speaking, are con- 
sidered the last word in their own constituencies. These 
men have not only the ability to write operas, but actually 
have written them. I can name many, and if the men- 
tioning of some of them will serve as good a purpose as 
I desire, good will come from the effort. First there is 
Ernest Trow Carter qualified in every possible way for 
the work in hand he had his college course at Princeton, 
and composed for and conducted the college glee club 
and chapel choir. He has been the lecturer on music, 
and was the organist, of Princeton University. He has 
served a year at the Metropolitan Opera House that he 
might learn the choral effect thoroughly. As a com- 
poser of songs, glees and cantatas he has achieved fame, 
and this man, who is in theory the type of musician from 
which are made the Arthur Sullivans, Jacques Offenbachs 
and Charles Lecocqs, has actually written a romantic 
comic opera and has provided the libretto and score him- 
self. . Yet he is by no means alone. Over in Englewood, 
N. J., where he for years has maintained a conservatory, 
presides one of the greatest musicians in the world, Sig- 
nor T. E. Delia Rocca. He has been in America for many 

of S@u0ic attD tfje Drama 369 

years, and is the father of the young and beautiful Italian 
violiniste, Giacinta Delia Rocca. Here is a man who has 
operas galore, and who will write either a grand or comic 
opera to order, but he provides only the scores. Then 
there is Walter Pulitzer, a nephew of Joseph Pulitzer, 
and the son of Albert Pulitzer, who was the founder of 
the Morning Journal. He would be a veritable "find" 
for the Casino or for Col. Savage. He writes the most 
entrancing songs and marches, and in collaboration with 
Mr. Eden Greville has written an opera ready to submit. 
I have already spoken of Julian Edwards and Anton 
Hegner ; surely we can, right here in America, supply our 
managers with really artistic work and let there be no 
fear as to the comedy, for such observations as I have 
been permitted to make have convinced me that this all- 
important feature has been well bestowed Hegner, Delia 
Rocca and Carter are first-class conductors and have 
served as such with distinction, and yet it is with great 
difficulty that these men can obtain a hearing for their 
works from those who control the destiny of our theatres. 
Surely Mr. Hammerstein in his search for a real Ameri- 
can grand opera need not lack material for investigation ; 
operas such as "Cavalleria Rusticana" would never have 
reached the dignity of production had America been the 
scene of their original activity and had American writers 
been responsible for them. 

Herman Perlet (who, by the way, is a brother of 
Frank "Perley," the manager), has composed several 
good light opera scores. He also is a conductor of re- 
pute, and after the earthquake in California he hied him- 
self to that section and is now a great factor in musical 
matters on the Pacific Coast. He also is at work on the 
score of a grand opera based upon an American subject. 

Paul Steindorf, a decade ago, was regarded as the 
"steam roller" conductor, so magnetic and energetic was 

370 Jfortp gears 2D60ertiation 

he when in the director's chair. He also took Horace 
Greeley's advice, and in 1900 proceeded to California, 
where he has caused an upheaval and has revolutionized 
the musical status of the golden State. It was Steindorf 
who was responsible for the symphony orchestra, named 
after him, and also for the great events which have oc- 
curred at the Greek Theatre at Berkeley. Given oppor- 
tunity such grand old musicians as Dr. James Pech 
would cause American music to reach the highest possi- 
ble plane, but do our impresarios penetrate our own col- 
leges and universities? There might be another Beetho- 
ven or Mozart discovered ! Stranger things may happen 
as a result of three grand opera houses embracing French 
opera and opera bouffe after a silence lasting nearly a 
quarter of a century. 

Will Rossiter, now at the head of a large publishing 
house in Chicago and New York, has been turning out 
so many beautiful scores that he is regarded as the "com- 
ing man." While his compositions are in a lighter vein, 
the ability to evolve a score of importance is always 


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429 Forty years observation of 

G82 music and the drama